The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

Cell Phone Bill: UPDATE

Posted by ALmod on January 9, 2006

I’ve just spoken with Rep. McClendon over the phone. (You’ve gotta hand it to him. He’s a quick little bugger!) He is currently in St. Louis, so he hadn’t yet read the blurb in the News.

From what I understand, there are two reasons why the bill only includes drivers who are age 18 and under. The first, and biggest, reason is an issue of compromise. The impression that I got was that he believes that the bill would be dead in the water if it included everyone. (As he put it to me, the state legislators are among the worst when it comes to using cell phones when driving, and it took several years to pass a seat belt law.)

The second reason, which builds on the first, is that it is an add-on or extension (my words, but the impression I got from the conversation) to a previous Alabama law, which created a “graduated” drivers license for minors. In other words, teens can get their license at 16, but there are restrictions (such as the number of people in the car) that gradually fall off as the driver ages. This would be an additional restriction on that license.

Makes sense to me. I’d still rather have the restriction for all drivers, but as Rep. McClendon put it, it’s a start. Something is better than nothing, I guess. And I suppose that they could always build on it.

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