Troopers targeting texting drivers during holiday
Posted May 24, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is putting extra focus this holiday weekend on drivers who are texting and checking email from behind the wheel.
Troopers are targeting major four-lane roads and highways, including interstates 85, 95 and 40.
In Cumberland County, troopers will be stationed every 15 miles to look out for distracted drivers.
A 2009 state law prohibits driving while texting or reading any messages on a cellphone or hand-held device. Fines begin at $100, plus court costs.
But how do you catch text-happy drivers whizzing by at 70-plus mph? Troopers said they look for tell-tale signs of weaving or sudden slowing down.
Some troopers will be in unmarked vehicles, allowing them a better shot at catching drivers in the act.
"We do encounter a lot of people on the phone,” Trooper R.D. Thomas said. “(I’ve) stopped several people running off the road, weaving in their lane.”
He said he often hears the excuse, “I was on the phone, sir.”
“Not paying attention to driving, worrying about the phone, talking on it or adjusting the radio – it's become a very common thing today with all the things we have going on in cars,” Thomas said.