State lawmakers have voted unanimously to make Alabama the 38th state to ban texting while driving.
A compromise version of the bill by Republican Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville cleared the House 95-0 and the Senate 28-0. It now goes to the governor, who will decide whether to sign it into law.
The bill prohibits sending text messages, instant messages and emails while behind the wheel. It provides exceptions for contacting emergency services and for using global position services.
“This will save lives on our highways, make our highways safer and protect our families,” McClendon said.
Jennifer Ardis, press secretary for Gov. Robert Bentley, said he would review the bill thoroughly before deciding whether to sign it.
Some legislators said Alabama cities that have enacted texting bans have issued few tickets because a ban is hard to enforce. Proponents said most law-abiding drivers will quit texting if it is against the law.
The bill includes a fine of $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense and $75 for a third or subsequent offense.