Note: Any use of a cellular device or associated driving leads to distracted driving equal or worse than driving while drunk. Please drive safely.
As technology continues to permeate everyday life, phone usage on the road is on the rise. But the question appears: who can use their phone and how can they use it?
|Type of License||Telephone||Additional Technology||Texting and Email|
|Level 1 Limited Learner's Permit||No||No||No|
|Level 2 Provisional License||No||No||No|
|Level 3 Full Provisional LIcense||No||No||No|
To summarize the above material from the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), a mobile phone includes all cell phones including those that allow hands-free calling. It does not matter if the phone is voice or touch activated (though some exceptions exist).
Additional technology allows the NCDOT to cover everything else but mail or text messaging which reserve their own special category as they are forbidden no matter the license.
For drivers under the age of eighteen (18), any use of cellular technology is banned. If you are found in violation of this rule, you are subject to a $25 fine but no points are added to your license nor should you experience any surcharge in your insurance. That being said, the holder of a provisional license can use their cell phone if a) it is an emergency situation or b) if the caller is calling parents, legal guardians, or spouse.
For drivers over the age of eighteen, the main concern is the use of text messaging services (and that means any means of entering text to communicate with someone). If you are found in violation of this rule, it is considered an infraction with a fine of $100 plus court fees. The primary exceptions to this rule are the use of a GPS and the use of voice operated technology.
While NC does allow the use of cell phones while driving a vehicle, please remember that doing so can result in distracted driving: the reason for about 25% of motor vehicle accidents (only behind alcohol and speeding). Schedule stops in your daily commute if you really need to answer your phone or just wait until you've arrived at your destination. Be safe on the roads.