North Carolina employers need to remind their employees that individuals are prohibited from text messaging while operating a motor vehicle in North Carolina. This law has been in effect since December 1, 2009. Although text messaging violations are punishable by a $100 fine, no points or insurance surcharges can be assessed as a result of such. This law also clarifies that these violations “shall not constitute negligence per se or contributory negligence” in civil lawsuits that are filed as a result of accidents caused by texting.
Other North Carolina cell phone laws prohibit all cell phone use by school bus drivers and novice drivers under the age of 18. Employers, especially those who have employees driving outside of North Carolina, should pay attention to local cell phone laws. Handheld cell phone bans exist for all drivers in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois (effective 1/1/14), Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont (in work zones effective 1/1/14), Washington, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Employers should clearly communicate with employees that they are responsible for paying fines associated with on-the-job texting/cell phone citations.
To review cell phone laws in other states, go to State Distracted Driving Driving Laws .