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N.C. lawmakers could consider texting-while-driving ban

Posted January 2, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Driving while texting – it's the newest cell phone debate, and North Carolina lawmakers, this year, could consider a ban on the issue.

As of Jan. 1, California became the seventh state in the nation to make it illegal to send or read a text messages while driving. A fine for a first offense is $20; a second offense costs $50.

text message Ban DWT – driving while texting?

Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, said Friday that he believes state lawmakers could consider a similar ban for all North Carolina drivers.

"We need to keep people focused on the road and focused on safety and not clicking out text messages," said

North Carolina has already banned cell phone use and texting for bus drivers and teens under 18.
Talking on a cell phone was never widely banned after people who use phones for business opposed it.

Eric Rodgman, with the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, supports a texting ban and believes it should be illegal in every state.

He believes drivers only talking on a cell phone are twice as likely as others in wrecks to have a rear-end collision.

Although research on texting while driving is still lacking, he believes it is a bigger distraction than talking on a cell phone.

"The problem with text messaging is that you have to look at the face of the cell phone to look at the message or key in the message," Rodgman said.

Besides California, text messaging is banned for all drivers in six other states (Alaska, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington) and the District of Columbia, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

18 Comments

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  • dmccall Jan 5, 2009

    "Anything that distracts you from driving is now allowed."

    Do you mean "NOT allowed"? IF this is true, then there doesn't need to be a law written, it already is written. A ban on "texting"? What is texting? Is it sending SMS? Email? Comments on message boards? Auto Bingo? Does it ban reading web pages? SMS messages?

    IF the law is passed, then how is it enforced? Should cops be paying more attention to the interiors of drivers' compartments or watching the roads themselves?

  • likemenow Jan 2, 2009

    it's called a cash cow.....imagine the dollars that might flow if we were actually allowed to ban illegal immigrants from driving..but no, texting driveers certainly kill more people..wait...maybe that's because local police deporkments aren't allowed to ask for "papeles".....go figure

  • toobad Jan 2, 2009

    Hey! No tuning the radio or inserting CDs or talking to passengers if you have to look at them while doing so. When are these stupid laws going to end? It is nothing more than a money making machine. The meager fines also included heafty court costs!!

  • Tax Man Jan 2, 2009

    CA already banned use of a cell phone while driving except a completely hands free system. I agree - a driver should be driving, not texting or holding a phone up to his/her ear. If it is business, just pull over and stop to talk.

  • TheAdmiral Jan 2, 2009

    The North Carolina Drivers License book states:

    "Anything that distracts you from driving is now allowed."

    So, that means:

    Make Up.
    Fast Food.
    Radio Station.
    The 200 CD Rack in the back seat.
    In Car Sexual Activity.
    Phones.
    Texting. Blue Tooth. Picking your nose. Hot coffee.

    If you can think about it - it is not allowed.

  • seeingthru Jan 2, 2009

    no cell phone except hands free no texting-period

  • dsdaughtry Jan 2, 2009

    I would go a step further by banning talking on a hand held cell phone while driving. I have no problem with hands free as both hands should be on the wheel of a motor vehicle. But too many people just gab on the cell phone paying no attention.

  • geosol Jan 2, 2009

    You can't legislate morality, but you CAN legislate against stupidity. Trying to punch little buttons while driving isn't safe for the idiot or those around them. Either pass a law against it or let me sue the ever-living dukey out of those who do and get in an accident.

  • dcatz Jan 2, 2009

    How about a complete ban on cellphone use entirely while driving? Handsfree or not.

    Cellphone users these days have no manners or common sense whatsoever. If it's an important call, pull over to the side of the road; otherwise turn your phone off. That goes for theaters, planes and other public areas too.

    I'm so glad I bought a portable cellphone jammer (it even looks like a regular cell phone). It's very satisfying to be able to prevent people in a theatre from being able to talk on the cell phone.

  • are you kidding me Jan 2, 2009

    Be sure to include a biscuit, your wife going over a honey dew list, and a eating a big mac! Another law that will take away from the real lawlessness! Focus people...focus!!

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