Although North Carolina has had laws to limit mobile phone use while driving in place since 2009, lawmakers are advocating to revisiting those laws to further curb distracted driving, which remains prevalent despite existing laws. Sponsors of the proposed changes to the bill believe prohibition of all smartphone use by motorists will prevent motor vehicle accidents caused by device distractions. The National Conference of State Legislatures shows that the District of Columbia along with sixteen other states have complete bans on mobile phone use while operating a vehicle.
Current laws prohibit drivers from sending emails or text messages while driving, as well as any cell phone use by drivers younger than 18. The new law will not allow any driver to hold a smartphone in his or her hands or against the body — except in emergencies. However, adults can use devices in hands-free stands if they require no more than the push of one button. Drivers younger than 18 would only be allowed to use smartphone devices for following preset navigation systems.
Another change would prevent any use of mobile devices in an idling vehicle at a stop light. The fines for first violations would be $100 and $200 for repeat offenses. Furthermore, additional insurance penalties may be effected for multiple offenses. Not all lawmakers agree, and some suggest that preventative laws already exist; they also believe that not physically holding the phone would still cause distractions.
Victims of motor vehicle accidents that were caused by other distracted drivers might choose to pursue financial relief. Proving that another driver was distracted by a smartphone at the time of a crash could be challenging, but help is available. An experienced personal injury attorney can work on establishing negligence and then advocate for the injured victim when presenting documented claims for financial and emotional damages to a New York civil court.