The “Hands Free Law” may soon be the law of the land in Alabama, as proposed legislation would ban holding a cell phone while driving.
Representative Allen Farley filed a bill this week in advance of the legislative session, which starts March 5th, and Senator Jim McClendon is sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate. Current Alabama law bans texting while driving – but it does not ban holding a phone while driving.
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia now have bans on holding a phone while driving – one of those states is Georgia, where the law took effect in July of last year (2018). Farley and McClendon said their bills are based on the law in Georgia.
Farley’s bill proposes to make it illegal for anyone to drive and physically hold or otherwise support with any part of the person’s body a wireless telecommunication device or standalone electronic device.” That bill does include several exceptions to the ban – such as for making calls to law enforcement or for other emergencies.
A first offense would make the driver subject to a $50 fine; second offense – $100 and for a third and subsequent offenses, $150.00
Senator McClendon said that he had spoken with the sponsor of the Georgia bill. and he has been told the new law is already showing results in reducing accidents.