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North Carolina Lawmakers Closer to "Hands-Free NC" Bill Passage

April 14, 2021

NORTH CAROLINA - North Carolina lawmakers are proposing a new bill that states you may use your phone while driving when using hands-free displays or earbuds. However, drivers face a fine if they look at their cell phones. North Carolina lawmakers believe the new "Hands-Free NC" bill will cut down cellphone-related distracted driving by 90%.

The bill, if passed, would make it illegal for drivers in North Carolina to hold their cell phones while driving. The bill would also ban drivers from placing their phones on their lap or any other part of their body. In other words, a driver would not be permitted to place the phone on their lap or cradle the phone on their lap or between the driver's shoulder and ear. In addition, it is illegal to record videos or to post on social media websites while driving.  

State Senator Kevin Corbin, who represents NC District 50, is one of the Hands-Free NC Bill's key sponsors. The law adds new offenses with legal fines if a driver is caught driving looking at their cell phone. If the bill becomes law, the new hands-free law and penalties will go into effect in six months after passage. In the first six months, law enforcement would only issue warnings.

A first offense is punishable with a $100 fine. A second offense would be punished with a $150 fine and a point on your license. A third offense and subsequent offenses would be punished with a $200 fine plus additional "insurance" points.

There are 36 states that have passed similar "hands-free" driving laws. The South Carolina legislature has introduced a similar bill this legislative session. Insurance customers in states that have passed these hands-free laws have seen insurance rates drop.

The hands-free bill is currently in the North Carolina Senate Committee On Rules and Operations. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. 

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Category: Accident News

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