Hands-Free Law Stalls… But Not Our Efforts

IIANC has made public awareness of the peril of distracted driving a top priority.

During April, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we pushed out to IIANC members a number of digital and related informational offerings, for distribution through agencies’ social media platforms.

Under a campaign theme of Put the Brakes on Distracted Driving, included were short videos and images to help educate the public on the need for better driving behavior, to make North Carolina roads safer for all drivers.

Also, during in the months leading up to April, IIANC was pushing hard in support of a hands-free driving law for North Carolina.

Senate Bill 20 Hands Free NC, sponsored by IIANC members state Senators Kevin Corbin, Jim Burgin, Vickie Sawyer, and Todd Johnson, would have North Carolina join the 36 other states and US territories that have a hands-free driving law on the books, allowing you to talk on the phone but not hold the device while behind the wheel. Hands-free use of devises for music and navigation are okay, but no surfing the internet, social media, watching videos or playing games.

Efforts included radio and digital ads featuring Tasha Hairston Springs, who cause a distracted driving accident in 2012 that left her permanently scarred and required over 100 reconstructive surgeries.

And, IIANC CEO Aubie Knight penned an op ed in support of SB 20 that appeared in newspapers across the state, as did former NC House member Danny McComas. IIANC also widely circulated a survey conducted by the Meredith College (Raleigh) Polling Program that show over 85% of North Carolinians believe it is time for a hands-free driving law in our state.

Unfortunately, the legislation stalled and our efforts to combat distracted driving in North Carolina (now the cause of 1-in-5 of all crashes) were not successful this year – but we are already working on plans to continue our push for passage of hands-free driving law in 2022.

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