Discussion among Council continues regarding texting-while-driving ban

It's not 2 L8 2 voice ur opinion if u h8 the idea of banning texting while driving.

While no decision was made at Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting, Councilman Bob Norman encouraged students who may be interested in having their voices heard on the subject to come to City Council meetings and speak up during citizens' communications.

Discussion of the texting ban was brought up by Councilman Brent Beard.

Beard said research by Allstate Corp. showed individuals were 23 times more likely to get in an accident, or narrowly avoid one, when texting while driving.

Mayor Bill Ham said he wouldn't mind looking to Montgomery to see how effective its ban has been.

However, he said Auburn probably has more texters, with about 25,000 students at the University.

"I support not texting while driving because it's a dangerous situation whatever age you may be," said Councilman Arthur Dowdell.

Councilman Gene Dulaney said Alabama has the second-highest teen fatality driving rate in the country.

Norman suggested focusing on education to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.

"A lot of people that are doing the texting think they're bulletproof anyway," Norman said. "If we can do something to effectively reduce the danger, then I'm all for it."

In other business, a presentation was made showcasing the new Public Works and Water Resource Management Design and Construction manuals.

Resource Management Director Laura Koon said the preparation of the manuals had been a multi-year process.

Public Works Director Jeff Ramsey went over some of the changes the new manuals have set in place.

Section 5 of the Public Works Manual established guidelines for the installation of new sidewalks.

"Well, now if a development comes in, they'll have to build those sidewalks as part of the development," Ramsey said.

Section 6 of the manual offers a standard for the design and construction of dams.

"Right now, there are no requirements for dams statewide," Ramsey said. "There's not a lot of dams constructed in Auburn, but the ones there are, we want to make sure they're safe."

Later at the meeting, Michael DeVore was recognized as employee of the month. He has worked at the Auburn Public Library since 2001 as the assistant electronic services librarian.

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