North Carolina’s Department of Transportation reports that in 2019, 1384 crashes involved drivers distracted by an electronic communication device.
Statewide laws regarding cellphone use as a driver exist to prevent these accidents.
Teenage drivers must adhere to strict cellphone regulations
If you are under 18, you cannot use a cell phone to make or receive calls, even if it is a hands-free device. This law is essential because teen drivers have less experience on the road and may be more easily distracted. The only exception to this law is if you call your spouse, parents or emergency personnel. Fines for breaking this law start at $25.
Drivers over age 18 might not get pulled over for talking on a hand-held cell phone
In 2019, the Hand Free North Carolina Act made it illegal for drivers to hold a cellphone while driving only if it contributes to reckless driving. This means that as long as you do not cause an accident, run a stop sign or speed while holding your phone, you can use it legally.
Texting while in motion is illegal for all drivers
It is illegal to text while driving, regardless of your age or driving experience. Law enforcement can cite you for both reading or typing texts without the need of any other moving violation, such as speeding or running a red light. The fine for your first texting offense is $100 plus fees, and it increases to $150 for subsequent violations. Despite these strict anti-texting laws, texting while parked or stopped at a red light is still legal.
Avoid contributing to distracted driving accidents by following North Carolina’s laws regarding cellphone use.