On November 1st, 2019, drivers in Alabama will have two new traffic laws to adhere to. The first law is one that many drivers can support, and it is an update to the current seat belt law. Under new law active November 1st, drivers can be stopped if passengers, even in the back seat, do not have their seatbelt fastened. Under previous law, anyone not a minor sitting in the back seat without a seat belt was only a minor offense that could be written up if the car was stopped for another reason. Now, a $200.00 fine can be levied for sitting without a seat belt in the back seat. This ticket will be issuable to the passenger if the passenger is of age and a licensed driver, or to the driver if the passenger is a minor or does not have a driver’s license. It is no new news that seat belts save lives. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) records data that shows that nearly 15,000 people’s lives were saved by use of a safety seat belt in 2017 alone. Buckle up – it’s the law!
In addition to the seat belt law, a second law will be going into effect that is relatively new for Alabama drivers. Have you ever been stuck behind someone going under the speed limit in the left lane on the interstate – and does this make you frustrated? Cue the Alabama Road-Rage Law. This law will make it illegal for a vehicle to operate in the left lane of the interstate for longer than a mile and a half without passing another vehicle, thus clarifying that this is indeed the passing lane. The Alabama Department of Transportation is hopeful that this new law will cut down on tailgating as well as vehicular crashes along the interstate and will promote a smoother flow of traffic. While there are exceptions for emergency vehicles, inclement weather, heavy traffic congestion that does not allow one to move over, or left exit lanes, this violation will come with up to a $200.00 fine.
Both new laws have been on a trial run since September 1st, 2019, but once they become law on November 1st, these violations will be eligible for fines. Remember the next time you hop in a car to have everyone buckle up and only use the left lane for passing!
How do you feel about the two new Alabama traffic laws? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.