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Study: North Carolina teens still texting

These days, drivers know how easy it is to quickly check an email or text while driving. Even though using a cellphone to text or email while driving in North Carolina is banned, many people continue to do it. This is particularly true when it comes to teenage drivers. A recent study observed teen drivers in North Carolina, and they found that teens engage in texting and driving significantly more than they did two years ago.

The study was based on observations of teen drivers leaving their high school. Despite the focus on education and prevention, teens still cannot ignore the temptation to quick send or read a text. This behavior, which some people compare to driving drunk, has resulted in accidents and traffic violations. Even this, however, has not stopped teen drivers from using their phones. Some say that they do not worry about repercussions because the law itself is nearly impossible to enforce.

Experts agree with this sentiment. It is easy to hide a cellphone while texting. Additionally, adults can legally talk on the phone while driving, but teens cannot. How easy is it for a police officer to tell if a driver is 20 years old and abiding by the law, or 17 years old and breaking a law? It can be impossible. Often, a driver is only cited for texting while driving or other distracted behavior if another violation occurs which is easier for police to spot.

The penalty for texting while driving is a small fine and a delay in moving to the next licensing level for teens. Because the offense is often added on during the course of a traffic stop, there could be a number of tickets issued. A teen driver could end up facing serious consequences for a series of small mistakes. Before the penalties and fines get out of control, a driver may want to seek help from an experienced attorney who understands the impact of the new texting ban and other traffic laws.

Source: News Observer, "Study: Teen drivers who text are more persistent, harder to catch," Kerstin Nordstrom, July 11, 2012

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