Put the cell phone down: Locals push for “Hands Free” law in Alabama

Last updated: 11-23-2019

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Put the cell phone down: Locals push for “Hands Free” law in Alabama

If you have your phone in your hand while you’re behind the wheel you might be risking more lives than just your own– that’s the message that locals in North Alabama are pushing.

Locals got together and called for change. Texting and driving– it’s dangerous, and illegal in the state of Alabama. But, the danger goes far beyond just sending a text. North Alabama officials are getting together and hoping to re-define the law. And help save lives. 

Family members of those who were lost as a result of distracted driving– whether they were the ones with the phone in their hands or not– have come together and rallied support across the state to re-write the law and push for a “Hands Free Alabama”.

Michelle Lunsford lost her daughter as a result of distracted driving. She tells us, “She was planning her birthday, prom was coming up– you know, graduation. The trip. This was the best time of her life. And it was cut tragically short.”

Camryn Calloway was weeks away from her 18th birthday, when she was killed on the road. Now, she was on her phone– but she wasn’t texting… 

Michelle Lunsford tells us Camryn was in the middle of recording a “3 to 5 second recording telling a friend ‘Happy Birthday’. It could have waited. There’s nothing about that that couldn’t have waited… There was an 18-wheeler that had stopped and she slid right under it and it killed her.”

Michelle tells us that because her daughter wasn’t texting, she wasn’t technically breaking the law. But cell phone use, or the use of anything that takes your attention from the road is dangerous. That’s why she believed the law should be updated.

Camryn or “Cici” to her loved ones, is remembered by her mother, Michelle Lunsford, who’s pushing for change, and she’s not the only one.

Under this new law, if you were to be caught with a phone or handheld device in your hand while you’re behind the wheel, you’re in violation. Local law enforcement, Huntsville PD, Madison County Sheriff’s Department are in support of the legislation.  

We spoke with Capt. Guy Rush, an Alabama State Trooper. Capt. Rush says, “Texting is slowly becoming the new DUI…and it’s causing more and more accidents.” 

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