Texting While Driving in North Carolina

Until fairly recently, North Carolina did not have a specific law that made “texting-while-driving” a crime. But it arrived: Gov. Bev Perdue signed a law in June that will make texting while driving illegal as of December 1, 2009. The law will be a new charge for drivers to deal with and a new charge for which they will have to pay attorneys.

Last year, President Obama held a texting-while-driving summit to highlight the problem of our roads made more dangerous by the use of cell phones. Make no mistake about it: texting a friend while driving a car is without a doubt an extremely dangerous activity. A car is a dangerous object, and one that’s being driven without full attention to the highway can become a deadly weapon.

The fact of the matter, however, is that any texting-while-driving law will be difficult to enforce. Unless the police officer can testify that he did see the defendant text while driving, there may be no way to get a conviction.

The fact that a lot of teenagers from Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, and so forth will get accused of texting-while-driving is going to put a lot of parents in bad moods.

For a different opinion on why texting-while-driving laws may be ill advised, here’s Radley Balko writing in the US News.

Even as late as the Fall of 2010, there have been comparatively few texting-while-driving charges. But that’s because police have apparently not focused their attention on identifying and arresting such people.

But surely in the next couple of years there will be a slew of such cases as people who have been involved in wrecks admit to police that they were texting-while-driving.

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