Safe driving involves paying attention to the Alabama roadways and the behaviors of other drivers, so people who are not even looking at the road as they drive raise the risk of a motor vehicle accident exponentially. According to MSN.com, tickets for texting and driving in the United States have skyrocketed by the thousands over the past few years, but law enforcement officials question whether the penalties are making the roads safer.
Authorities point out that a driver who is impaired may be subjected to a chemical test to determine whether alcohol may have been a factor after a crash. However, a search warrant is necessary if an officer wants to investigate whether a mobile device was a contributor to an accident. Consequently, the only way to determine whether a crash is texting-related is to rely on a driver’s admission of guilt, which may not be forthcoming in states where it is illegal. In states where drivers are allowed to use their phones for other functions, identifying violations may be even more difficult.
AL.com reports that in Alabama, teen drivers are not to use handheld mobile devices when they are behind the wheel, although the law allows anyone to contact emergency services when immediate assistance is needed. Adult drivers are allowed to use their phones to make other calls, as well, and may even enter the number into the device by hand. While people may not manually operate GPS systems from behind the wheel, they may still benefit from pre-programmed instructions, and interacting with a phone or other handheld device through voice commands is also legal.