North Carolina Hands-free bill HB144 dies in committee

A bill that would fine drivers for engaging in distracted driving behavior has died in a Senate committee.

House Bill 144, titled “Hands Free NC,” would have prohibited operating a vehicle while using one’s hands to engage in “distracted behavior” such as the use of cell phones or other electronic devices. Such a violation would come with a fine of $100 and court costs but no insurance surcharge assessment.

The bill had made its way through both houses but met a dead end in the Commerce and Insurance Senate Committee. In that time, the “Hands Free NC” bill had undergone four revisions and morphed from a bill that banned cell phones while driving into a distracted driving bill.