TO MAKE USING A MOBILE PHONE UNLAWFUL WHILE DRIVING A MOTOR VEHICLE ON A PUBLIC STREET OR HIGHWAY OR PUBLIC VEHICULAR AREA UNLESS HANDS-FREE TECHNOLOGY IS USED BY THE OPERATOR.
Deletes all provisions of GS 20-137.3 (unlawful use of a mobile phone by persons under 18 years of age) and replaces, with the following new GS 20-137.3 (unlawful use of a mobile phone) provisions. Makes it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle or a school bus on a public street or highway or public vehicular area while using a mobile telephone or any additional technology associated with a mobile phone while the vehicle or school bus is in motion. Excepts from the ban on mobile telephone use the use of hands-free technology by a motor vehicle operator. Also excepts from the ban on mobile telephone use communications by a motor vehicle or school bus operator during emergency situations to an emergency response operator, ambulatory service, fire department, or law enforcement agency, or communications where the operator uses either hand to activate, deactivate, initiate, or terminate a mobile telephone call. Allows use of a mobile telephone or associated technology when the vehicle or school bus is stationary.
Defines mobile telephone as a device used by subscribers and other users of wireless telephone service to access the service; the term includes (1) a device with which a user makes a call using at least one hand and (2) a device with an internal feature or function or an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of the mobile telephone, that allows the user to make a call without the use of either hand, whether or not the use of either hand is necessary to activate, deactivate, or initiate a telephone function. Also defines additional technology, emergency situation, school bus, and wireless telephone service.
Makes violations, when operating a motor vehicle other than a school bus, an infraction and imposes a $100 fine. Makes violations, when operating a school bus, a Class 2 misdemeanor and imposes a fine of not less than $100. Assesses no driver’s license points or insurance surcharge for violations of the statute. Provides that failure to comply with the statute does not constitute negligence per se or contributory negligence. Repeals GS 20-137.4 (pertaining to unlawful use of a mobile phone). Repeals GS 20-137.4A (pertaining to unlawful use of mobile telephone for text messaging or electronic mail). Effective December 1, 2011, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.
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