Demopolis, AL bans texting while driving

There is no statewide law against texting while driving in Alabama, but it doesn’t stop cities from coming up with their own ordinance on the subject.  Last week, the city of Demopolis became the latest to ban texting while driving

A driver caught texting while drivingin the city will face a fine up to $50 or 10 days in jail.  A second offense in the same year could translate into a $100 fine, and starting from  the third violation, motorists could receive a $500 fine.

Only one council member voted against the ordinance.  For Councilman Melvin Yelverton, this measure will give a bad reputation to Demopolis.

“It makes Demopolis look like a speed trap,” he said, “If people are just traveling through, they don’t know about the ordinance and it makes us look like we’re just out to write tickets.”

For Councilman Bill Meador, who supported the ordinance, it was more of a public safety issue.

“This is not a we’re out to get you type thing,” said Meador.  “People who text and drive – a lot of them – they drift over, they’re not attentive and they’re dangerous on the road.”

The local Chief of Police also supported the idea of banning texting while driving.

“It’s not about writing tickets,” said Demopolis Chief of Police Tommie Reese. “It’s about people watching where they’re going when they’re driving.”

Making calls on a cell phone, programming a GPS and radio devices are exempted from the ordinance.

Source: Demopolis Time, December 10, 2010

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