Just the other day I was sitting at a stop sign in Raleigh waiting for a car to pass and what do you think the driver of this car was doing as they were driving down the road…….that’s right, texting. Now, I am not here to pass judgment, I’ve found myself doing the same at one time or another. With that being said, it is important that all drivers are aware of the risks of distracted driving, especially texting while driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent – at 55 mph – of driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded.
Over the years, distracted driving has become such a significant public safety concern that North Carolina banned texting while driving in 2009. North Carolina General Statute 20-137.4A states that it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area while using a mobile telephone to manually enter multiple letters or text in a device as a means of communicating with another person; or read any electronic mail or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored in the device nor to any caller identification information. North Carolina drivers who send texts while sitting a stoplight are not violating this law because the law does not ban texting or emailing in a vehicle that is “lawfully parked or stopped.” However, if you have not hit the send button before the light turning green, then you could be guilty of texting while driving.
A violation of this law shall be an infraction and shall be punishable by a fine of $100.00 and the costs of court. If someone driving a school bus violates this law, then the violation shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100.00. No drivers license points or insurance points shall be assessed as a result of violating this law.
Be Safe, Don’t Text While Driving
We are entering our holiday season and many of us will be traveling. I hope you will be careful while traveling and resist the urge to text or email while driving. That text or email can wait. It is not important enough to risk the safety of yourself and others.
Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas is your choice for a traffic lawyer in Wake County. If you have a speeding ticket, give our attorneys a call at 919-615-2473 and we can discuss this ticket and what it means for your insurance.
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