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Texting while driving ban brings up concerns

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Earlier this week, the state Senate gave final approval to legislation, banning drivers from text messaging or sending e-mails with their cell phones.

The ban is now headed to the Governor’s desk, but the law raises some concerns. Many are questioning how police would enforce this law; they say it would be difficult to prove someone was texting while driving without searching through the person’s phone, and that raises invasion of privacy concerns.

“I just put it on the steering wheel sometimes when I’m driving the car, and text while I’m driving down the road,” said Jackson Turbeville.

Many of us admit we do it, text or search the web while behind the wheel.

Police say it likely contributes to many of the thousands of rear-end collisions in New Hanover every year.

“People take their eyes off the road and either try and dial a number or text and we end up having a rear-end collision, we have had some serious ones,” said First Sgt. A.E. Morris of the NC State Highway Patrol.

But with the new ban outlawing all drivers to text behind the wheel, some lawyers question how police will prove it.

“I think the only way an officer would be able to prove the case would be to seize the phone, go through the phone, see if there are text messages. If you do that, you’re going to definitely have some search and seizure issues. You’re also going to have some privacy issues,” said former prosecutor Thomas Porter.

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Story summary

Earlier this week, the state Senate gave final approval to legislation, banning drivers from text messaging or sending e-mails with their cell phones.

The ban is now headed to the Governor’s desk, but the law raises some concerns.

Story summary image

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