North Carolina continues to pass increasingly restrictive laws in an attempt make the state's roads safer. North Carolina passed legislation in June of 2009 making it illegal to utilize mobile phones for text messaging while driving. A prior law instituted in December of 2007 outlawed any use of mobile phones while operating a vehicle by drivers under the age of 18 and during the operation of a school bus.
One notable aspect of the banning on texting is the difficulty Police encounter in lawfully enforcing the statute. Gaston County Police failed to issue a single citation for unlawful texting while driving in the last year. Gastonia Police Capt. Chuck Lifford noted that, as a practical matter, you can observe a driver and determine if they are texting, but the law doesn't allow Police to confiscate the driver's phone, making it very difficult to enforce the statute.
Most public officials note that resent research regarding the effects of texting while driving on safety lead to the conclusion that each individual must reach their own determination to increase their personal safety behind the wheel. For instance, Larry Wood, assistant Gastonia city manager, said while it is not a formal policy, employees are instructed not to use mobile phones or text while driving.