This summer, Gov. Bev Perdue signed a bill making it illegal for drivers in North Carolina to text while driving. Anyone caught doing this could face a $100 fine, plus court costs.

I think this law was a great idea, and I’m a little surprised it didn’t come earlier. We all know how distracted we can be when we try to use the phone while driving. Just talking can be distracting enough, but add an activity that requires the driver’s hands and eyes to be on the screen half the time, and you have one dangerous situation. Especially driving around UNC-CH’s campus and Franklin Street, where pedestrians are everywhere and paying little attention themselves.

I hope more states adopt similar laws. Some opponents say the legislation is difficult to enforce, but I don’t think that means it shouldn’t be a law. People should come together to think of ways to prevent the use of cell phones while driving. A summit held by the U.S. Department of Transportation Wednesday and Thursday brought together researchers, automakers and lawmakers to discuss ways to prevent distracted driving. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he wanted the summit to set “the stage for finding ways to eliminate texting while driving.” I am glad to see that the government is addressing this issue and is trying to keep up with changes in technology that might present safety hazards.

-Brecken Branstrator