DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Playing with your phone while driving could bring you tougher consequences.
The Alabama House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee has approved a proposed ban that could make it illegal to hold your phone while driving.
Drivers could pay a $50 fine for the first violation, $100 for the second and $150 for the third if caught by police.
The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million crashes happen a year due to cell phone use while driving.
“It’s very important to keep your eyes on the road and not be using your phone,” said Sgt. Dennis Sallas with the Dothan Police Department. “It will definitely cut down on people playing on their phones and not paying attention to the roadway — which will, in turn, lower the accident rate in Dothan.”
In Alabama, texting and driving and having a phone in your hand under 18 is illegal. Sallas said he feels this additional law keeps drivers safe, but there are always some who will take the risk.
“If that law is passed, then we will enforce it,” he said. “Until then, we’re just gonna go by what we got now.”
If you’re using your phone for navigational purposes, place it in a safe place and turn on the voice navigational system to keep your hand on the steering wheel and eyes on the road.
The bill does include exceptions for law enforcement and emergency responders and, of course, using a cellphone as a navigational device.