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Alabama Bans Texting While Driving

  • July 10, 2012

Alabama has joined the majority of other states in enacting a law that prohibits texting and e-mailing while driving.  Effective August 1, 2012, the law makes it unlawful to manually write, send or read a text or e-mail while operating a motor vehicle.  Alabama Code § 32-21-1.  Violators will be subject to fines of $25, $50 and $75, respectively, for their first, second and third or subsequent offenses.  For each offense, a two-point violation would be placed on the offender’s driving record.

Exceptions to the law include contacting emergency services and sending a text or e-mail while a vehicle is parked.  The law does not apply to making or receiving a cellular telephone call or manually entering a name or number to make such a call. 

To promote safe driving habits, protect employees and other drivers, and avoid liability for car accidents caused by employees driving within the scope of their employment, employers should have written policies banning texting while driving when employees are working.  They also should educate employees on the policies.  In addition to helping employees avoid violating the law, these steps will create a safer environment and help employers manage risk. Please feel free to contact your Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss the new ban and how workplace policies can affect compliance with the new law.

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