House votes to ban text messaging while driving

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama House has passed a bill that
would prohibit motorists from sending or reading text messages on a
cell phone while driving.

The bill by Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville passed the House 92-4 Thursday. It now goes to the Senate for debate.

McClendon, a retired optometrist, said he believes text messaging is a major distraction. He said banning the practice while driving would save lives.

Seven states and the District of Columbia currently ban sending text messages while driving. At least nine other states ban text messaging for some teenage or novice drivers.

Rep. Spencer Collier of Bayou La Batre voted against the bill. Collier, a former state trooper, said he believes it would be hard for law enforcement officers to enforce the ban.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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