A newly proposed change to state law would prohibit drivers in North Carolina from using hand-held cell phones or other communication devices while behind the wheel. The full text of the pending bill is available here.
Introduced in the House General Assembly by Representative Kevin Corbin, House Bill DRH10080-MW-37A—also known as Hands Free NC—seeks to reduce the growing number of traffic fatalities caused by distracted drivers. The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives John Torbett, Jon Hardister, and Garland Pierce.
A Growing Concern
While the North Carolina Department of Transportation claims distracted driving caused 123 fatalities in the state in 2018, the American Automobile Association of the Carolinas suggests the actual number is higher, as distracted driving is hard to prove, and drivers seldom admit to it. Under current law, there are few restrictions in North Carolina prohibiting drivers from talking on a cell phone while driving. However, drivers under 18 and school bus drivers are presently barred from using a phone while driving.
About Hands Free NC
According to news sources, Hands Free NC would allow law enforcement to stop drivers they observe holding their phones. Previously, they required a secondary reason, such as speeding or seat belt use. Per other local news sources, the use of hands-free devices or Bluetooth speakerphones while drivers are in motion would still be legal.
Drivers who violate Hands Free NC would be subject to a $100 fine for the first offense, a $150 fine for the second offense, and a $200 fine for the third offense. Upon the second and third offense, violators would also see points applied to their licenses.
At present, 16 other states have adopted similar laws, with Georgia passing hands-free legislation in 2018. Since passing legislation, Georgia has recorded a decrease in motor vehicle accidents of approximately 15% overall. With 22 Democrats and 24 Republicans already having signed on, the bill appears to have strong bipartisan support.
We Can Help.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving accident through no fault of your own, contact Daggett Shuler Law for help. An experienced Distracted Driving Attorney can handle your entire case and work to secure fair and just compensation for you.
If you have questions about a traffic accident, call Daggett Shuler at 800-815-5500. When you call, you will speak with a Winston-Salem, North Carolina Distracted Driving Attorney absolutely FREE. We will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you—and fight hard to secure the compensation you deserve.
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