According to the Harvard T.H. Chan Center for Public Health, in 2011, 3,331 people lost their lives and 387,000 suffered injuries in crashes involving a distracted driver. According to the Greensboro News & Record, in 2013 law enforcement officials cited approximately 3,600 statewide for breaking the law. A WRAL Investigates report found that 1,458 people were cited for texting while driving in Wake County in 2013 but of the 1,367 cases disposed of in the county that year, fewer than half resulted in drivers paying the $290 in fines and court costs.
However, even with increased awareness and with new anti-texting laws in recent years, we’re not making a significant dent in preventing texting and driving. The obvious question is “Why not?” The answer is that the new texting laws are hard to enforce. It is easy for drivers to get around the law by claiming that they were not texting, and it is difficult for officers to prove otherwise. Thus, many states have gone so far as to make it illegal to even hold a hands-free communication device while driving, and North Carolina is contemplating doing the same.