Despite law changes, drivers still text, hide plates
Posted November 30, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Just as 35 new laws are poised to take effect in North Carolina on Thursday, the State Highway Patrol said rules for drivers enacted last year haven't slowed down unlawful texting behind the wheel and hidden license plates.
A law banning texting while driving went into effect in 2009, but this time last year, the state started handing out fines to drivers who break it.
Sgt. Jeff Gordon said distracted driving is still a huge issue across the state.
"I see a lot of people driving with their elbows on the steering wheel, texting with one hand," Gordon said.
Pizza delivery man Al Chesson, who drives all over the Raleigh area every day, said he thinks the problem is getting worse.
"I see more of it, a lot – lot more of it," he said.
In the first nine months of enforcement this year, Gordon said, troopers cited more than 650 drivers for texting behind the wheel.
Nick Evans said the issue is a dangerous one.
"I almost got hit yesterday by somebody driving and texting who ran up on me," he said.
Another law that went into effect last year prohibits large frames around license plates. Gordon said law enforcement must "be able to see the tag, run the tag and get the information."
Anything blocking license plate information is illegal.
Troopers have cited more than 130 people for hidden plates this year, Gordon said, adding that he hopes people will become accustomed to the new rules.
"Most of the time, in a year's time span, people get the idea of what is legal and illegal," he said.