Troopers: Distracted driving is a growing problem in the East

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so 9 On Your Side is looking into which distractions can earn drivers a ticket.

It’s common knowledge that in North Carolina, texting while driving is illegal, but what about while the car is stopped? What other distractions are considered violations? WNCT went to Highway Troopers to find out.

If a driver is stopped at a light or a stop sign, texting is allowed, just not while the vehicle is moving.

There are plenty of other distractions, like passengers, eating, or even putting on makeup. As long as the driver is moving straight and safely down the road, they can’t be charged.

Trooper Doug Coley said it’s about what happens on the road during the distraction.

“Someone may be reaching for something in their car, going left of center, striking another vehicle, running off the roads. So there are other charges that occur out of distracted driving other than just texting and driving. That’s where you have the careless and reckless driving,” Trooper Coley said.

Troopers in the East said they’re seeing more drivers veer out of their lanes or get into single car accidents on straight roads, thanks to distracted driving.

Trooper Coley said most of the education efforts focus on young drivers, but they’re not the most frequent offenders.

“It’s not just limited to teenagers. We see a lot of people that are older people, now have smart phones that they’re using to communicate with,” Trooper Coley said.

Because of this, older drivers are now being warned about the dangers of distracted driving in safety courses with organizations like AARP.

According to NC DOT, nearly 50,000 crashes in the state were attributed to distracted driving in 2013.

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

1 thought on “Troopers: Distracted driving is a growing problem in the East

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s