CULLMAN, Ala. – With 30-40 students, parents and Cullman City Schools administrators scattered throughout the Cullman High School auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 18, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Senior Trooper Brandon Bailey and newly appointed Courtland Municipal Judge Patrick Caver provided safety and cyber awareness education for attendees.
Caver warned the audience of “bad pictures” and the legal ramifications associated with them. Taking a “bad photo” of oneself or another individual, distributing the photo or showing the photo to another is a Class a felony classified under Section 13A-12-197 which reads “Production of obscene matter containing visual depiction of person under 17 years of age involved in obscene act.” Additionally, Section 13A-12-196 states that the parents or guardians of the minor are subject to a Class A felony as well.
TikTok, Snapchat and Discord were among the apps discouraged by Caver. His takeaway message was that parents are to act as parents and insist on having access to their children’s electronic devices. Caver recommended that parents routinely check phones and computers and ask questions about apps they do not recognize to protect their children from danger.
Bailey took the opportunity to speak to the audience about the dangers of distracted driving, whether it be texting and driving, adjusting the radio or speeding. It is illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use a mobile phone while driving, even if it is a hands-free device, and the consequences can be deadly.
The leading distractions while driving include:
- Talking and texting
- Adjusting music or controls
- Applying make-up
- Talking to passengers
- Not looking at the road
- Handling children or pets
- Zoning out
Bailey noted a recent accident where a driver momentarily reached for a fallen soda, and, when his eyes returned to the road, it was too late to brake. Several people died in the interstate accident and others were injured.
Remember, seat belts save lives. It is now law that all passengers, even those in the back seat, are required to wear a seat belt.
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