STUDY: New Alabama Hands-Free Law already reducing distracted driving and car crashes

Alabama passed a new Hands-free driving law in June 2023 outlawing holding a cellphone while driving (Grace Howard/Bham Now)

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), the world’s largest telematics service provider, released a study showing a reduction in distracted driving in Alabama thanks to a new state law prohibiting drivers from holding their phones while driving.

Prevented 70 car crashes

Only a month-old, the “hands-free” law already shows a 2.4% reduction in distracted driving within the state. Even though the reduction may seem small, new law—which was enacted on June 16th—prevented 70 car crashes and $1.6 million in economic damages.

“AAA has been pushing to get this hands-free law passed for four or five years now,” Clay Ingram with AAA Alabama  told The Bama Buzz. “It’s a great thing because we know from having this law in place in 30 other states around the country, it makes a difference. It makes our highways safer for everybody out there.”

Modeled after Georgia Hand-Free Law

Modeled after a hands-free law that has been on the books in Georgia for years,  violation of the Alabama law is a secondary charge—meaning police can’t pull you over specifically for holding your phone. However, if you are pulled over for something like speeding or running a stop sign the hands-free charge can be tacked on. 

The first violation is a $50 fine. The fines steadily increase after each violation up to a point.

You can still talk on the phone while you’re driving, but it has to be through the use of some type of hands-free device such as your Bluetooth function in your car or an earpiece of some kind.

Get the word out

“I think since it’s only been in place for a matter of a few weeks. I think there’s still a lot of people that don’t realize that that law has been passed and it’s now illegal to hold your phone in your hand while you’re driving. The more people that find out about this and decide to play by the rules, the safer our highways are gonna be,” AAA’s Ingram concluded.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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