Drivers, troopers react to proposal to ban driver cellphone use
Posted December 13, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — A National Transportation Safety Board recommendation Tuesday that states ban all use of cellphones behind the wheel drove many people in the Triangle to question whether such a ban is necessary.
More than 100 WRAL News viewers sounded off about the idea on Facebook. Many said that a law banning all driver cellphone use goes too far and would be impossible to enforce.
The North Carolina General Assembly voted in 2009 to make texting while driving illegal and troopers began issuing tickets in 2010 to drivers who violate that law.
But the State Highway Patrol says the texting law doesn't go far enough in preventing distracted driving.
"Distracted driving is a big issue and it is causing a lot of collisions out on the highways," said Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Gordon.
For people who rely on using their cellphones in the car, they'd like to see a provision that would allow the use of hands-free devices.
"Banning all devices in the car, it doesn't make sense," said Darrell Herron, a traveling salesman who spends a lot of time on the road – and on the phone.
Still, he said he sees a lot of distracted drivers in his travels and thinks tightening the rules is a good idea.
Past attempts to pass legislation banning all driver cellphone use have failed in the state legislature.
Gordon said it's always a good idea to stay off the phone while driving, and pull over if answering or placing a call is absolutely necessary.
"No call is worth your death," he said.