Hands-Free NC bill would reduce crashes, save lives

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Re: “Distracted driving calls for education, not more citations,” Times editorial, Wednesday:

The editorial writer’s point about the range of driving distractions is taken, but complexity of a problem is no reason to hesitate from taking action that will address some part of it.

The goal of House Bill 144, the Hands Free N.C. Act, is to reduce accidents and save lives, not generate thousand more traffic tickets — it was crafted based on what has been found to work in the other 17 states with hands-free laws, including Georgia, which saw an 11% reduction in accidents in just the first months of its 2018 hands-free law going into effect.

Totally agree that combating this problem will also take awareness and education, but the centerpiece of these efforts must be an enforceable law with consequences sufficient to encourage better driving behaviors by motorists. That necessitates a sanction for the act itself, not just a single consequence of it.

Tough drunken driving laws with serious economic implications for offenders changed behaviors and have prevented crashes and fatalities. I do not think anyone would propose undoing those laws and only sanctioning impaired motorists if they actually injure or kill someone.

Joe Stewart


The writer is vice president of governmental affairs for the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, which has a membership of nearly 900 independent insurance agencies who employ a combined 8,000 people.