North Carolina Lawmakers Propose Bill to Ban Handheld Electronics While Driving
NORTH CAROLINA – Lawmakers in North Carolina have proposed a bill to ban handheld electronics while driving, according to an online news report posted by courier-tribune.com. The bill would make it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving in the state.*
Rep. Kevin Corbin (R-Macon), Rep. John Faircloth (R-Guilford), and Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) co-sponsored the bill, which they began drafting after learning that South Carolina was considering similar legislation. In July 2018, a hands-free law went into effect in Georgia that made it illegal to use a handheld cell phone or electronic device while driving, and legislators around the country have noticed its success.
“In our transportation discussions, there’s an awful lot of very serious accidents that happened when people take their attention from the highway and reach for a phone,” Faircloth said. “If you look for what seems like a moment and look back up, you can suddenly come up on a car or have changed your direction. It’s purely a safety attempt and will be discussed thoroughly in committee.”
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that distracted driving can be just as hazardous as drunk driving. AAA Carolinas says that rear-end crashes and run-off-the-road crashes are common types of collisions associated with distracted driving. In 2018, 123 traffic fatalities occurred in North and South Carolina due to distracted driving, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
House Bill 144 would prohibit drivers from holding their cell phones. If passed, it would carry fines that increase with the number of offenses, starting at $100 for the first offense.
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