Archive for March, 2011

Will there be a ban on cell phone use while driving in NC?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The Legislature Begins To Make its Move Against Cell Phone Use In Motor Vehicles

I am well aware that there are many different views on cell phone use while driving.  The legal arguments revolve around Safety vs. Freedom.  The practical arguments by some claim that distracted drivers using cell phone are more likely to be involved in an accident due to the cell phone use (the distraction) and that is avoidable.  Some claiming that argument are likely just annoyed by the way folks drive when they are on their cell phone. The cell phone user seems to overcompensate for the distraction by overly cautious maneuvering, which in fact is annoying, and arguably more dangerous.  There have been a few legal blogs of note over the past few days mentioning the recent introduced legislation in the NC General Assembly.  Most of these blogs are by personal injury lawyers.  But this is a business law blog, so why am I telling you about it here.  Regardless of how I may or may not personally feel about the ban from a safety or freedom standpoint, our business clients need to be aware of this legislation.  Regardless of the “main” concerns of safety or freedom, it is my belief that a good amount of commercial transactions, including important business negotiation, are now conducted in a manner which is not face to face, and is in some type of electronic form.  I believe that a large percentage is by use of the cell (or mobile) phone, and I presume that much of this is also in moving vehicles.  If any of the current bills pass, there may be a huge impact on the way you conduct your business on a day to day basis.  I am not telling you, or encouraging you, to contact your legislator to tell them how you feel. I will leave that up to you to decide if you are interested in doing so.  I do think you should know about it, and that you should know how to find out what these proposed laws say.  A House and Senate Bill would prohibit all use of cell phones in a moving vehicle, including hands free devices.  An alternate House Bill allows hands free devices, while prohibiting all other use.

Here is a link to each of the bills, at the official NC Legislature sight, so that you can link there any time and see the status.

House Bill 31: bans use of cell phones by all drivers, including hands-free operation. Includes “cameras, music, the Internet and games.”

Senate Bill 36: bans use of cell phones (hands-free included) and related devices by all drivers (similar to HB 31).

House Bill 44: Bans use of handheld cell phones, but allows use of hands free phones.