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Alabama bans texting behind the wheel

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May 11, 2012—U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood this week applauded Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for signing a new law that prohibits text messaging while driving.

Alabama is now the 38th U.S. state to prohibit texting behind the wheel by all drivers, LaHood said. The new law, which takes effect Aug. 1, will fine texting violators $25 on the first offense, $50 on the second offense and $75 for all subsequent offenses.

"With Governor Bentley’s signature, now more than three-quarters of all states outlaw one of the riskiest behaviors behind the wheel—texting and driving," LaHood said. "Alabama roads and motorists will be safer as a result of this law, which reminds everyone that we cannot ignore the potentially life-altering dangers associated with text messaging and driving."

In addition to the 38 U.S. states, LaHood said the District of Columbia, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands also ban text messaging by all drivers. Ten U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all uses of hand-held cell phones while driving.

For more information on the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) campaign against distracted driving, visit

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