Texting ban takes effect Tuesday

November 30, 2009 5:51:34 PM PST
Princess Gillians has a small confession to make.

But come Tuesday, Gillians pledges to stop. The reason? If she doesn't and she gets caught, under the new law effective December 1, she'll face a $100 fine.

The law includes emails and applies to reading messages as well as writing them. But Gillians fears the law, which doesn't ban cell phone use, could be misinterpreted.

"If you're just going through your phonebook, yeah, it looks like you're texting," she offered.

And state trooper admit there will be grey areas.

"There's gonna be challenges with enforcing the law," said Capt. Everett Clendenin with the NC Highway Patrol.

But Clendenin says the spirit of the law is safety - and his fellow troopers will be watching closely for violations as they concentrate on speeding, drunk driving and recklessness.

"We're not gonna turn our back on this. If we see somebody who is obviously blatantly texting while operating a motor vehicle, paying attention to their cell phone while they should be driving, we're gonna stop 'em and take action. But we're not gonna be out making that our sole focus over the next few months," he said.

If you're just driving down the street when your cell phone goes off and you want to check and see if you have a text or e-mail, police are recommending you pull into a parking lot and do your business off the side of the road.

But when you get a text message or email while driving on the interstate, it's a little different story. Troopers say you could pull over on the shoulder, but they would prefer that you get off at an exit.

But few people we spoke with expect a dramatic change starting with Tuesday morning's rush.

"As many laws as they pass, people are still gonna do it," said Gillians.

Although law enforcement is exempt from the texting ban - the Highway Patrol is instructing all of its troopers to refrain from texting while driving.

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