Vestavia approves ordinance to ban texting while driving

VESTAVIA HILLS, AL (WBRC) - Vestavia Hills is now the first city in the Birmingham area to ban texting while driving. City Councilors unanimously passed an ordinance Monday night. It is aimed at keeping area drivers and roads safe.

The ordinance states that drivers can no longer send any type of electronic message, access the Internet, type on a laptop, or type information into a global positioning system. City Council President Mary Lee Rice said she thinks this will keep drivers safe, and reduce accidents.

"Hopefully, it will reduce folks talking their eyes off the road while driving," said Rice, "Whether it's texting, emailing, facebooking whatever they are doing, they need to do it when they are pulled over at side of road, not while driving. We hope it reduces the incidence of that."

Many Vestavia Hills residents admit to texting while driving, and said they think the new ban will help make city roads safer.

"I've seen a lot of accidents surrounded by cell phone usage," said Vestavia Hills resident Sarah Lamar, "I think it is smart not to text and drive."

"I can't figure out how people can be safe and text while they drive," said Vestavia Hills resident Elizabeth Glaser, "I think texting causes accidents more easily."

The ordinance will go into effect in about a week. Drivers who violate the law could be fined up to $100.

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