Laws banning texting and driving aren't having an effect on teens

Despite the state law banning texting while driving, Alabama teens are likely not much safer than they were before the law existed. Why? Because teens nationwide tend to ignore these laws.

Nationwide Children's Hospital's Center for Injury Research and Policy conducted a study of drivers ages 16-18. The results of the study show that state laws banning texting and driving do not have much of an effect on teen drivers' behavior. Only 7 percent more teens refrain from texting while driving in states that have these laws.

According to the results, 37 percent of the teens in the study responded that they used text messages or email while driving. One piece of good news did come out of the study, however. Teens take laws banning handheld cellphone use more seriously. In states with this law, teens have 55 percent fewer handheld phone conversations behind the wheel.

Alabama's law on texting and driving

Drivers who break this law may face the following penalties:

  • A $25 fine for the first offense
  • A $50 fine for the second offense
  • A $75 fine for subsequent offenses

In addition, drivers may get two points on their driver's license. Points can add up quickly and result in a license suspension.

Talk to your kids

Talking about this issue with your teen driver is important. Reminding them of the penalties may be a good way to get them to take texting and driving more seriously. You also want to follow the law when you are driving so they see that your behavior doesn't contradict what you are telling them to do.

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