Local News

Lawmakers could consider ban on texting while driving

Posted January 29, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Legislation to make texting while driving illegal is expected to be introduced by North Carolina lawmakers next week.

“When I am trying to dial that number, I quickly end up in another lane. Most people will be honest and tell you (that) when you take your eyes off that road, you are asking for trouble,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Garland Pierce, D-Scotland.

A person sends a text message. Lawmaker introduces bill banning texting while driving

Nationally in the last month, 53 percent of drivers admitted talking on cell-phones while driving and 14 percent admitted to texting, according to AAA.

Pierce admits that if the bill becomes law, it may be difficult to catch people breaking it.

North Carolina has already banned cell phone use and texting for bus drivers and for teens under 18. But since that law took effect in 2006, the number of teens who say they do it has actually increased slightly from 11 percent to 11.8 percent, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In 2007, police across the state issued 50 tickets to teens.

“I don’t see them enforcing it that well,” motorist Adam Mason said.

Will Stephens, 22, is in favor of the bill, even though he frequently texts while driving.

“I do it all the time and it is distracting,” Stephens said.

If the bill becomes law, the penalty for breaking it would be $100. There would be no points on the driver’s license. The bill makes an exception allowing emergency workers to text.

In the cell phone talking ban bill being proposed, a hands-free device is allowed.

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


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  • gammasandi Jan 30, 2009

    yes, a ban on texting, reading books, papers, etc., applying make-up and heavy petting

  • whatusay Jan 30, 2009

    My daughter doesn't think the car will start unless her cell phone is on.

  • Bob3425 Jan 30, 2009

    Legislation to ban texting while driving--Gee that will be enforced--NOT. What don't these elected representitives work on unemployment, healthcare, the homeless or lowering taxes. Do they help with those NOT just ban smoking and texting, anyone wonder why the state and nation is in this rut for?

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Jan 30, 2009

    No texting while driving? Oh no! The next thing you know they'll make me stop working the Yahoo Crossword puzzle while I'm driving.

  • oldfirehorse Jan 30, 2009

    What? No more text messaging while driving? Geez....next thing you know they'll make you take the sunscreen out of your windshield before you start driving! But, seriously, it is a significant health issue. In a few years these kids are going to have thumb knuckles the size of golf balls and dolls eyes. They'll have to turn their head to look straight forward!

  • doubletap357 Jan 30, 2009

    Bluetooth is the only way to communcate while driving. Texting? heck I can't even tyoe on a ful sized keboard sitting at mt desj.

  • tgw Jan 30, 2009

    I do not have a problem with banning text messaging while driving as long as they recognize the difficulty in enforcement.
    Our NCHP has so much other stuff to look for-maybe locals can look for this-especially around the schools-like the cell phone users. This is dangerous.

    I think our legislature needs to figure out the budget issues and GO HOME. The less time they spend in Raleigh, the less money they will spend.