Proposed texting and driving ban to go before the House - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Proposed texting and driving ban to go before the House

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It's something many of us do everyday.

Texting while driving.

And it seems the more we do it, the less we think about consequences.

"You just wouldn't ever expect it," UM senior, Dylan Lard, said. "No one really does."

But that's what one journalism class at the University of Montevallo is hoping to change with one video it's made that focuses on the dangers of all types of distracted driving, from texting to drowsiness.

"It has opened my eyes, very wide," UM junior, Lex Murdoch, said. "Of all the possibilities of all distracted driving."

Murdoch and Lard are two students spearheading the students' video, which is aimed at Shelby County high schoolers.

But if a video doesn't work, a new Alabama law that's about to go before the House of Representatives, might.

The new bill, if passed, would mean a fine for every offense of texting while driving. The first offense would be a $25 fine, the second offense would be $50 and the third would be $75.

"Most people are really kind of strapped for every dollar they have," UM Professor of Communications, Chandra Clark, said. "So they don't want to pay out anything they don't have."

But some, like Lard, fear change will only happen after it's too late.

"The sad part is, something awful has to happen to people before any change to actually be made," Lard said.

Lard says he knows the feeling all too well. When he was a senior in high school, he fell asleep at the wheel on a road trip, crashed and paralyzed his left hand.

The video consists of interviews with teenagers, people who have directly been affected by distracted driving and members of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

Clark says the class' first stop will be at Thompson High School, following spring break.