Florence City Council approves ban on texting while driving - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Florence City Council approves ban on texting while driving

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Florence is the latest city to ban texting while driving. The florence city council made the decision Tuesday night.

The law should be on the books in a few weeks and when it's there, expect to face the consequences if you pull out your phone to text behind the wheel.

By the beginning of August, the texting while driving ban will be in place.

"I'm really concerned about distracted driving especially for our younger drivers," said councilman Andy Betterton. "This cell phone is like a new appendage for them."

Betterton has worked for more than a year to put the measure in place. The law doesn't stop anyone from talking on the phone but betterton said it still sends a clear message to drivers who want to use the phone's keyboard.

"If they need to text if they need to surf the web they need to get off the road," he said. "You can be stopped for this and this alone."

Florence Deputy Police Chief Neal Rhodes said that's what makes this law unique. Most texting bans in other Alabama cities are secondary offenses. In Florence it will be a primary offense. His officers plan on enforcing it in a variety of ways, but one of those includes something similar to what they do now for speeders.

"Of course we'll be using static positions just to observe drivers. That's one way to enforce this particular ordinance," he explained.

If caught don't expect a slap on the wrist. Fines start at $100 and go up depending on the number of times you've previously been ticketed.

A similar texting ordinance was voted down a year ago by the Florence city council. The difference between that one and this one though was a ban on talking on the phone as well.

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