Is It Illegal to Talk on the Phone and Drive?

When it comes to texting and talking on the phone while driving, every state has its laws. Before you pick up your phone while behind the wheel in North Carolina, read through this overview to familiarize yourself with what you can and cannot do while driving.

Can You Talk on the Phone While Driving?

The answer is yes – for most people. Anyone over age 18 is permitted to talk on the phone while driving. Those under 18 are generally not allowed to talk on the phone while driving; however, they are allowed to speak with their parents, spouse, or emergency responders. 

Can You Text or Email While Driving?

No. Nobody, no matter his or her age, is permitted to send or read text messages or emails while driving. This includes when at a red light or a stop light – the driver is still considered to be operating a vehicle so they cannot send or read messages even while stopped.

When can a driver text or email? If the vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped or the driver is using a hands-free or voice-operated technology, they may text. 

What Are the Penalties?

In North Carolina, police can stop drivers solely for suspected texting while driving. If you are issued a ticket for texting while driving, there is a $100 fine. For minors who talk on the phone while driving, in violation of the law (e.g., they are talking to their friends and not to their parents, spouse, or emergency responder), there is a $25 fine.