North Carolina lawmakers to discuss hands-free driving law

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- North Carolina could be the next state to make driving while using a hand-held communication device against the law.

Lawmakers will be discussing HB 144 during a news conference on Wednesday morning.

Watch: Woman, who admits to using phone while driving, supports HB 144

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A new bill proposed in the House Thursday would make it illegal in North Carolina to use hand-held communication devices, such as cell phones, behind the wheel while driving.

If the Hands Free NC Act is passed, drivers who are convicted of talking on their cellphones while driving will face a $100 fine.

Second-time offenders face $150 and insurance points and the third offense will cost the driver $200 and insurance points.

Currently, the Tar Heel state has no restrictions on talking on a cellphone while driving for most motorists. However, school bus drivers and drivers who are under the age of 18 are prohibited from using devices.

The bill will give law enforcement the ability to stop drivers simply for holding their phone, whereas in the past they would have to have a secondary reason like speeding or not wearing a seat belt.

In 2012, the Chapel Hill Town Council tried to pass an ordinance that would make it illegal to be on a phone while driving but the state supreme court struck it down.

This bill does have bipartisan support.
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