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Alabamas Ban on Texting While Driving 32-5A-350 APOSTC July 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Alabamas Ban on Texting While Driving 32-5A-350 APOSTC July 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alabamas Ban on Texting While Driving 32-5A-350 APOSTC July 2012

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

3 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 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.


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

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


14 Not all phone use is illegal while driving Illegalwhile drivingLegal while driving Texting Writing a text Reading a text Sending a text E-mailing Writing an e-mail Reading an e-mail Sending an IM Instant Messaging Writing an IM Reading an IM Sending 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 DosDonts 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 Dont text while driving on duty Dont attempt to use your phone to photograph the offender using his phone Everything on your phone could be open to examination Dont ask for the offenders phone There is no language that allows that type of seizure

17 Searching the Suspects 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 7 th 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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