With the epidemic of texting while driving causing more and more serious crashes, injuries and deaths, the North Carolina Legislature is taking up the issue of a total ban of cell phones while driving a motor vehicle. North Carolina Lawyers Weekly covered the story this week.
Representatives Garland Pierce, D-Hoke, and Charles Graham, D-Robeson, filed the bill to ban cell phone use while driving on February 2, 2011. The bill is known as H. 31 and is titled, "An act to make using a mobile phone unlawful while driving a motor vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area." The bill is currently in the House Rules Committee.
The bill basically bans any use of a cell phone, even via blue tooth hands-free technology, while one is operating a motor vehicle. This ban would include school bus drivers. The only exception under the new bill would be in the case of an emergency.
The penalty for violating the proposed new law would be a $100 fine and no insurance points.
As I have discussed in previous posts, such penalties are a joke and will do nothing to curb the use of these technologies while driving. In order for such a law to work, it must, in my opinion, have some teeth. This slap-on-the-wrist mentality coupled with the very difficult time law enforcement officers will have trying to convict violators will probably not have much of an impact on the problem. But, as I said during an interview with a Lawyers Weekly reporter, "if such a ban would serve to save just one life, then in my opinion, it would be worth it."
At Davis Law Group, we see far too many serious car and truck crashes, with devastating injuries, as a result of texting and/or talking while driving. We have been down this road before and know what needs to be done to hold the at-fault drivers responsible for such crashes.