• 45°

Madison City Council passes texting while driving ban

The Madison City Council joined Huntsville Monday, Aug. 23, as another municipality in the state to ban texting while driving.

District 3 council representative Jerry Jennings introduced the ordinance, which will go into effect Sept. 20.

“I believe that it is a safety issue and we need to take action on that to protect roadway safety,” Jennings said.

Council President Bill Holtzclaw said he felt it was important to join Huntsville in making the ban an ordinance, as it’s often difficult to tell where the Madison city limits end and the Huntsville city limits begin.

Holtzclaw also said that after seeing hundreds of students at Bob Jones High School sign a pledge in the spring to not text while driving, it showed him the importance of such an ordinance.

“That really kind of moved it to the forefront for me,” Holtzclaw said. “They can now teach this in our driver’s ed courses that it is illegal to text and drive.”

However, not all council representatives agreed.

District 4 representative Tim Cowles said it is not the place of the city government to legislate behavior.

“I think it’s a mistake to legislate people’s behaviors in cars,” Cowles said. “It’s an example of a nanny government. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Cowles also said that District 6 representative Larry Vannoy, who was absent during Monday’s meeting, had sent an e-mail to the council outlining his stance against the ordinance.

District 5 representative Tommy Overcash disagreed with Cowles, saying it is the responsibility of government to legislate some behaviors.

“I’ve seen several stories that state that texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving, and we certainly legislate that,” Overcash said.

The ordinance is identical to Huntsville’s in that it is a secondary offense, meaning officers cannot solely pull over someone for texting. The Madison ordinance also eliminates jail time.

“I still think there are people who are going to go home tonight and still text and drive,” Holtzclaw said. “But it is a start.”

Events

Asbury Church to present “Lessons & Carols: The Songs of Christmas” on Dec. 4

Events

Christmas at Burritt on the Mountain

Events

Madison Community Band to present “Christmas Journey”

Events

Winter Park at The Orion Amphitheater is now open!

Harvest

Still Serving Veterans named ‘Nonprofit of the Year

James Clemens High School

Markowitz, Odom and Wyche earn BBB’s ‘Torch Award for Ethics’

Bob Jones High School

Arslanbekov of Madison merits first place in von Braun Symposium

Harvest

Civic-minded groups help Madison’s blood supply

Events

Fantasy Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol” to open Dec. 2

Bob Jones High School

Fantasy Playhouse uses grant for technical theatre lab

Events

Rocket City Christmas Light Show in Madison returns Friday

Bob Jones High School

Reflections fine arts gives outlet for students’ creativity

Events

Madison natives, The Beasley Brothers, plan annual Christmas concert at the Princess Theater Dec. 15

Madison

Huntsville International Airport: TSA expects surge in travel volume for Thanksgiving, stresses preparedness

Madison

“Skills for Success” training program debuts to solve bus driver shortage

Madison

James Clemens principal picked to lead Hartselle school district

Events

Huntsville Ballet returns ‘The Nutcracker’ to the VBC stage

Bob Jones High School

‘Pullin’ for Partnership’ raises funds for Partnership prevention

Events

2022 Holiday Event Guide

Madison

AAA expects nearly 55 million Americans will travel during the long holiday weekend

Events

Skating in the Park is back for its 10th season

Madison

Liftoff! NASA’s Artemis I mega rocket launches Orion to the moon

Bob Jones High School

Next MCS workshop to deal with teenage depression

Madison

Flu season strikes early in Madison schools but prevention is key

x