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Alabama’s Ban on Texting While Driving 32-5A-350

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Presentation on theme: "Alabama’s Ban on Texting While Driving 32-5A-350"— Presentation transcript:

1 Alabama’s Ban on Texting While Driving 32-5A-350
This presentation has animations and should be shown as a slide show. Press F5 to begin the slide show. If you present it from the edit view, some images will appear to be on top of each other and text. APOSTC July 2012

2 Objectives Introduction to the law Understanding the problem
Discuss enforcement strategies

3 What’s in the law? Title 32-5A-350 & Other Provisions

4 No Texting While Driving
32-5A-350(b) A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a public road, street, or highway in Alabama while using a wireless telecommunication device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.

5 Definitions… 32-5A-350(a)(1) 32-5A-350(a)(2)
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION DEVICE. A handheld cellular telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand alone computer, or any other similar wireless device that is readily removable from a vehicle and is used to write, send, or read text or data through manual input. The term "wireless telecommunication device" does not include a device which is voice-operated and which allows the user to send or receive a text-based communication without the use of either hand except to activate or deactivate a feature or function. WRITE, SEND, OR READ A TEXT- BASED COMMUNICATION. Using a wireless telecommunication device to manually communicate with any person using text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail. The term does not include reading, selecting, or entering a telephone number or name in a cell or wireless telephone or communication device for the purpose of making a telephone call.

6 Legal or Illegal under this law?

7 Primary Violation 32-5A-350(d)
Law enforcement officers enforcing this section may treat a violation of this section as the primary or sole reason for issuing a citation to a driver.

8 Fine Schedule (Minus Court Costs)
Crime & Punishment Fine Schedule (Minus Court Costs) Other Provisions 32-5A-350(c) A person who violates subsection (b) is subject to fines as follows: (1) Twenty-five dollars ($25) for a first violation. (2) Fifty dollars ($50) for a second violation. (3) Seventy-five dollars ($75) for a third or subsequent violation. 32-5A-351 A conviction of this act shall be entered on the driving record of any individual charged under this act as a two-point violation. 32-5A-352(a) In any case brought by a law enforcement officer employed by the Department of Public Safety all funds fines shall be allocated to the State General Fund.

9 Maintain Statistics 32-5A-352(b)
Each state, county, and municipal law enforcement agency shall maintain statistical information on traffic stops made pursuant to this act on minority groups and report that information monthly to the Department of Public Safety.

10 Understanding the Problem

11 NHTSA Survey Regarding Texting While Driving
Percentage that admitted they did text or Do you ever send texts or s while driving?

12 NHTSA’s Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving
Raise Public Awareness Lead by Example Research & Development Enact & Enforce Tough State Laws

13 Enforcement Strategies

14 Not all phone use is illegal while driving
Texting Writing a text Reading a text Sending a text ing Writing an Reading an Sending an IM Instant Messaging Writing an IM Reading an IM Talking on the cell phone Listening to a text Verbally composing a text Using cell phone to look up contacts Using cell phone as GPS Using cell phone as a camera Using a cell phone to listen to music

15 Discernment Officers’ biggest challenge will be trying to determine if the driver is illegally texting or doing some other act that is not deemed illegal under the law.

16 Effective Enforcement
Do’s Don’ts Visually ensure that texting is taking place if possible Photo/Video violation taking place Make note of confessions Watch from the roadside of congested areas Texting while stopped is also illegal Note time of the offense by your phone Don’t text while driving on duty Don’t attempt to use your phone to photograph the offender using his phone Everything on your phone could be open to examination Don’t ask for the offender’s phone There is no language that allows that type of seizure

17 Searching the Suspect’s Cell Phone
Is it necessary? You already saw the offense take place. Do you conduct searches during other moving violations? Is there case law about this? Kinda… People v. Gregory Diaz (California Supreme Court) USA v. Abel Flores-Lopez (US Court of Appeals 7th Circuit) Both of these cases allowed searches of cell phones by police. However, both cases were custodial arrests for felonies.

18 Conclusion This law will not be popular with many… however, enforcement may save many lives. Questions

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