Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Alabama’s useless anti-texting while driving law

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 27, 2012

Alabama‘s politician’s have demonstrated, once again, their individual & collective incompetence.

In an effort that could only be described as hopeful, the fools on Montgomery’s Goat Hill passed what is merely a token law.

The law reads in part that, “(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.”

And as some laws do, this one also provides for exceptions, the most notable one being “(1) An individual using a wireless communication device to obtain emergency services including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.”

And yet, it is precisely that exception which renders the law moot. Here’s why.

Conceivably, it could be considered an “emergency” if one’s baby sitter was late, because that same individual would be providing for the health care of the baby, and therefore, exempt under the guidelines.


This inexpensive, hands-free cellular telephone accessory can save lives… perhaps even yours!

The law specifically states that the exclusions are “not limited to” those exceptions specifically enumerated.

Further, while the law references an “emergency,” it fails to define, and neither attempts to define what constitutes an “emergency,” or who a “health care provider” is, or is not.

In the broadest sense, a baby sitter is a health care provider because that person provides for the health and care of the baby.

However, one would imagine that the legislators who authored the law (presuming legislators did write it, rather than lobbyists), would have defined “health care provider” as any professionally licensed individual who engages in the care or treatment of sick or injured people.

And yet, in that law identified as HB 2, while Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers are specifically referenced, no such mention is made of Physicians, Registered Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Physical Therapists, Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, X-ray Technicians, Nurse’s Aides, or any other well-known “health care provider.”

In my estimation, what is more necessary is a requirement for drivers to use hands-free headsets. As it stands now, it’s quite commonplace to find numerous drivers holding a cell phone while driving. Why drivers refuse to purchase those inexpensive devices remains a mystery. I would imagine that most people’s monthly cell phone service bill would be at least as much – and most likely more – than many, even most, hands-free headsets.

And yes, hands-free headsets can be purchased for under $30. There’s certainly no shortage of brands, models or options from which to choose. Any thoughtful shopper can readily find a plethora of deals on as many offerings, including deep discounts, in some cases as much as 60%, or more.

Is there hope for Alabama?

One would only hope so.

And yet so often, Alabamians shoot themselves in the foot… or elsewhere.



2 Responses to “Alabama’s useless anti-texting while driving law”

  1. Cyndia M said

    Today, while out driving between Madison and Huntsville, I encountered three different drivers that were texting and driving. One was literally weaving across two lanes. We sped up to pass them and the woman was not even watching the road, having turned her head to the phone in her hand. Same thing happened on the Parkway just a few moments later; that woman swerving to avoid running up into the back of a very large truck as she allowed her car to drift into the next lane. That law is virtually useless, and people are gonna get killed.


    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Hi Cyndia! Thanks for reading & for Sharing your thoughts! It saddens me to learn of your experience, which is doubtlessly shared by numerous other drivers. Unfortunately, I predict a series of very costly lawsuits will be filed before any serious action is taken by drivers to change their behavior. A thoughtful parting note, is that Speech-to-Text software – such as Apple’s Siri – is available for other smartphones, and at little or no cost. Here’s hoping folks smarten up! Thanks again!


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