As of December 1, 2009, North Carolina makes illegal “driving while texting.” This is part of a nationwide trend making illegal various acts classified under “distracted while driving” conduct. Cell phone use by adults while driving remains legal in North Carolina.
But texting by adults or by underage drivers is an infraction, punishable by a fine of $100 plus court costs, which in District Court amount to $130. Expect a total fine plus costs of around $230. The specifically says that no insurance points will be assessed for this infraction.
Still, I expect that as of December 1, 2009 there will be a large number of texting-while-driving or driving-while-texting citations as people who are not familiar with the law get cited.
UPDATE: Actually, in spite of my prediciton, I have seen relatively few texting-while-driving charges. I got my first texting-while-driving charge in a case involving a DWI recently. Apparently it’s less common to be cited for texting-while-driving because it’s difficult to detect.