§ 32-5A-350 Text Messaging While Operating a Motor Vehicle Prohibited
(a) For purposes of this article, the following words have the following meanings:
(1) Wireless telecommunication device. A handheld cellular telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand-alone computer, or any other similar wireless device that is readily removable from a vehicle and is used to write, send, or read text or data through manual input. The term “wireless telecommunication device” does not include a device which is voice-operated and which allows the user to send or receive a text-based communication without the use of either hand except to activate or deactivate a feature or function.
(2) Write, send, or read a text-based communication. Using a wireless telecommunication device to manually communicate with any person using text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail. The term does not include reading, selecting, or entering a telephone number or name in a cell or wireless telephone or communication device for the purpose of making a telephone call.
(b) A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a public road, street, or highway in Alabama while using a wireless telecommunication device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.
(c) A person who violates subsection (b) is subject to fines as follows:
(1) Twenty-five dollars ($25) for a first violation.
(2) Fifty dollars ($50) for a second violation.
(3) Seventy-five dollars ($75) for a third or subsequent violation.
(d) Law enforcement officers enforcing this section may treat a violation of this section as the primary or sole reason for issuing a citation to a driver.
(e) The following uses of wireless communication devices shall not be subject to the restrictions in this section:
(1) An individual using a wireless communication device to obtain emergency services including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.
(2) An individual using a wireless communication device while the motor vehicle is parked on the shoulder of the highway, road, or street.
(3) An individual using a wireless communication device as a global positioning or navigation system to receive driving directions which has been pre-programmed with the desired coordinates. The programming of coordinates while operating a vehicle remains a violation of this section.
A conviction of this article shall be entered on the driving record of any individual charged under this article as a two-point violation.
(a) In any case brought by a law enforcement officer employed by the Department of Public Safety all fines shall be allocated to the State General Fund.
(b) Each state, county, and municipal law enforcement agency shall maintain statistical information on traffic stops made pursuant to this article on minority groups and report that information monthly to the Department of Public Safety.