Want to ask a question? Click here

How many tickets have been issued for texting while driving?

Ken Little
StarNews

Wilmington city police have ticketed five drivers to date for texting while driving, police department spokeswoman Lucy Crockett says.

New Hanover County sheriff’s deputies have issued about a dozen tickets to texting drivers, Cpl. Jerry Brewer adds.

The N.C. Highway Patrol issued 296 citations for texting while driving statewide between Dec. 1, 2009, when the law went into effect, and June 3, Sgt. Jeff Gordon says.

Of those 296 citations, 19 were issued in New Hanover County, among the highest totals among the state’s 100 counties. Three each were handed out in Brunswick and Pender counties, Gordon says.

“What the trooper or any law enforcement officer has to determine is if the person is texting or in the process of accessing a phone number. It is challenging, but it is a good law,” he says.

“It’s a difficult law to enforce because it’s hard to tell if someone is doing it,” adds Brewer. “It’s hard to differentiate someone who’s texting with someone who is dialing a telephone number.”

Deputies sitting in patrol cars are at eye level with other cars or lower than drivers in SUVs and trucks, so it’s difficult to see what many drivers are doing inside their vehicles, Brewer says. But that doesn’t stop members of the SAFE (Sheriff’s Alcohol Field Enforcement) Unit from remaining on the lookout for texting drivers, he says.

Drivers cited for texting while driving in North Carolina face a fine of $100, plus court fees.

“Everyone should know by now that texting while driving is unsafe. In fact, cell phone use of any kind distracts motorists from devoting full time and attention to driving,” Crockett says.

Adds Crockett: “As with all traffic violations, voluntary compliance is really important. Police officers can’t be everywhere all the time, and they can’t cite everyone who drives badly.”

Teenage drivers in North Carolina under age 18 have been prohibited from using any mobile communication device since Dec. 1, 2007.

“As for texting, we recommend that drivers take the pledge that Oprah Winfrey is promoting. Declare your car a ‘No Phone Zone,’” Crockett says.

User-contributed question by:
Jeff Herrett

Got a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Click here to let us know!


Bookmark and Share

X
Ask a question
X

Ask a question

If you’re looking for answers about living in coastal North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. If we don’t have the answer to your question, we’ll find out or try to find someone who does. Hey, that’s our job! So, ask your question below and we’ll do our best to find the answer. Once we do, we’ll post it in an appropriate category.





Can we use your name to credit you by name (no e-mail or other contact information) with this question when we post an answer?
Yes
Your question:

Post a comment
X

Talk to us!

Have a comment about this post or know more about the answer? Use this form to let us know. Note that all comments are moderated and must be approved before they are posted, although you may see your own comments the first time you post them.





Your comment: