RALEIGH, N.C. — Talking on the phone while driving without using hands-free technology could soon cost North Carolina drivers.

House Bill 144 is called Hands Free N.C. It would make it illegal to talk on the phone while driving. 

Full text of HB144

1 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 2 AN ACT MAKING IT UNLAWFUL TO USE A WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE 3 WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE ON A PUBLIC STREET, HIGHWAY, OR 4 PUBLIC VEHICULAR AREA. 5 The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts: 6 SECTION 1.

"It infuriates me,” said Raleigh walker Abby Wahlstorm.

"It’s more dangerous than drinking,” Raleigh driver Brad Khoe said.

The bill would allow drivers over the age of 18 to use a cell phone if its affixed, mounted, or installed in a way that allows them to make, answer, or end a call by touching a single button.

"It only takes a minute to run off the road or miss a pedestrian walking across the street,” Goldsboro driver Cutral Holmes said.

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Under the bill, drivers caught violating it would face a $100 fine. The second offense would lead to a $150 fine and an insurance point.

The law wouldn’t apply to those in emergency situations, or those experiencing unsafe road conditions or mechanical problems. It also would apply to first responders. 

"I would support that kind of legislation,” Kehoe said.

"I think it’s cool,” Holmes said.

North Carolina already bans texting and driving.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina would be the 17th state to pass talking while driving legislation. 

If passed, the law would take effect in 2020.

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