Alabama is surrounded by states that already have anti-texting bans. Texting while driving is also widely known as distracted driving throughout the country. The supposedly reckless habit has caught the attention of drivers and lawmakers throughout the U.S. and inspired 37 states to pass varying laws related to cell phones behind the wheel.

So far, Alabama is not on the list of states with anti-texting laws. That puts our community members at risk of becoming victims of distracted driving accidents. Some lawmakers believe that passing a traffic law to prohibit texting while driving would prevent such crashes, and a proposed law was recently approved by the Alabama Senate.

Before the Alabama anti-texting proposal moves forward, however, it needs to be okayed by not just the governor but again by the House. They approved a version of the anti-texting bill but the Senate amended it somewhat. Those changes include allowing drivers to text for emergency services, GPS purposes and while stopped at a red light.

The House needs to approve those changes, and it isn't a given that it will. Some argue that drivers should pull over when needing to access GPS information or otherwise text for non-emergency purposes. When texting at a red light, they argue, that texting driving could fail to pay attention to the light or traffic ahead of him and cause a holdup or an accident.

The fact is that drivers have gotten by fine for decades without texting in the car. When an emergency presents itself and a driver must use his or her phone, why should it be seen as such a bother for them to have to try to pull over before texting? Or perhaps a driver could have a passenger text the oh-so-important information, allowing the driver to keep his focus on the roads.

These are all concerns that lawmakers and the debating public will try to iron out before the legislative proposal moves on to become law. We will post an update if there is a development with this bill.

Source: Associated Press, "Alabama Senate passes ban on texting while driving," Phillip Rawls, April 24, 2012