Legal spat killed Ala. texting while driving ban

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Drivers can keep sending text messages while traveling Alabama's highways because a fight between an insurance company and lawyers in the state Senate killed a bill to ban the dangerous practice.

Democratic Sen. Roger Bedford and some other lawyers in the Senate insisted the bill include language making sure any texting driver is presumed negligent for causing a traffic accident. Alfa insurance company opposed that. Alfa Services General Manager Paul Pinyan says that language has not been in any other Alabama traffic law and it created a lot of unknowns. Pinyan says Alfa supported a straightforward ban.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim McClendon, says the bill will be back next year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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