Skip to content
ALDOT News Hub

Phones down, hands on the wheel: It’s Alabama’s law

Hands-free law billboard saying "Put the phone in park. Hands-free is the law." and "Alabama's Code of the Road"
ALDOT is reminding every vehicle driver and passenger about Alabama's hands-free driving law
Mar 11

A new state law aims to drive down vehicle-related fatalities caused by distracted driving. Beginning in June of 2024, state and local law enforcement can issue tickets to anyone making a call, sending a text, browsing the web, or watching or recording videos with a phone in their hands. In other words, drive hands-free or pay the literal price. Violators are subject to a misdemeanor traffic offense, a fine and points on their driving record.

Drivers can only use a single button or swipe of a finger to answer a call. The new hands-free law is a secondary offense, meaning drivers must first be seen committing another traffic violation to be pulled over and receive a citation.

In 2022, almost seven percent of motor vehicle-related fatalities in Alabama were caused by distracted driving. The hands-free law was passed in the legislature in memory of Leah Grace Tarvin, CiCi Lunsford and Jay Kendall, three Alabamians whose tragic deaths were related to distracted driving.

Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing safety issues on the roads today. Distracted drivers aren’t just a threat to themselves; they are a danger to everyone else on the road.

Allison Green, Drive Safe Alabama coordinator for the Alabama Department of Transportation

First offenses will cost drivers $50 and a point on their driving record. The second offense will increase to $100 and two points if the driver violates the hands-free law within 24 months of that first offense. And, if the driver hasn’t learned their lesson after three citations, it will cost $150 and three points will be added to their driving record.

Tips on how to go hands-free

  • Use Hands-Free Technology – Use Bluetooth devices or dashboard mounts to keep your phone accessible but out of your hands.
  • Plan Ahead – Set GPS navigation and music playlists before starting your car to minimize distractions while you are driving.
  • Silence Notifications – Turn off notifications, use a “do not disturb” setting or put your phone in airplane mode so you aren’t tempted to look at your phone while behind the wheel.
  • Pull Over if Necessary – If you must use your phone, drive to a location safely off the road, like a parking lot, before putting your phone in your hand.
  • Put Your Phone Away – The simplest way to comply with Alabama’s hands-free law is to ignore your phone.Place your phone in the glove compartment, in your purse or in the backseat. If your phone is out of sight, the road is first thing on your mind and in your sight.

To learn more about Alabama’s Hands-Free driving law visit the Drive Safe Alabama website.