As I’ve mentioned before, North Carolina has passed a new texting while driving law set to go into effect this December. The law bans texting while driving, and imposes penalties if caught. North Carolina still does not ban the use of cell phones entirely, except for young drivers.

Now there’s word that the United States Senate is considering legislation that would require the states to pass “distracted driving” laws. In the early 1980s, the federal government tied federal highway funds to the passage of tough new drunk driving laws. Within a few years, virtually all states had complied with the federal government’s demands.

The Senate bill does much the same thing. States would be required to pass tough new “distracted driver” laws in order to keep their federal highway money. If not, the federal government would not send its money to those states that failed to pass such laws.

North Carolina is nearly all the way there anyway. As I’ve mentioned, the state, as of December 2009, prohibits the use of texting devices while driving. The state prohibits young drivers from talking on the cell phone while driving.

All that’s left for North Carolina, it seems, is to band the use of cell phones by drivers entirely.

If that happens, expect a spike in the number of citations for “distract driving” type behavior until people learn the new rules.

Call me at (919) 352-9411 if you’ve been cited for a traffic offense. The advice is free. And my rates are affordable.

Damon Chetson - 993 posts

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.

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