In December, 2009, North Carolina joined the ranks of other states across the nation that enforces laws prohibiting texting while driving.
Since then more than 1,200 individuals have been issued citations for violating the law. Though various laws limit the privileges of new and teenaged drivers—including a ban on talking on a cell phone while driving for motorists under the age of 18—the law against texting while driving extends to motorists of any age.
In fact, a review of court records found that most of the drivers ticketed for disobeying the ban were over the age of 25. The average age of violators is 28.
Apparently, experienced and adult drivers feel so compelled to stay in touch with work that they check email while driving, which is also banned under the texting law.
Guilford County, which includes the cities of Greensboro and High Point, had the highest number of citations issued for violating the texting while driving law at 118 through the beginning of 2011. Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located, reported 114 while Wake County, where the capital city of Raleigh is located, claimed 107 violations.
Now, North Carolina lawmakers are considering taking the push against distracted driving a step further.
Senator Charlie Dannelly and Representative Garland Pierce introduced two new bills—Senate Bill 36 and House Bill 31, respectively—that would make it illegal to use any form of digital media while driving in North Carolina.
Yes, that even means no talking while driving.
Motorists would face a $100 fine and court costs if they are caught using cell phones, cameras, music, the internet and games on digital devises if the bill is passed. If the bills are made into law, they would go into effect on December 1, 2011, two years to the day after the ban on texting while driving went into effect.
Though many of us have already taken the pledge to not use a phone or digital devise while driving, a law making it illegal would promote safe driving across the state.