Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey teams with DPS Secretary Hooks, SHP Col. Johnson, legislators, father of teen who died while texting to combat distracted driving


RALEIGH

In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey will hold a press conference to emphasize the dangers of distracted driving on Tuesday, April 13, at 11 a.m. in Raleigh.

Commissioner Causey has placed a demolished vehicle in which a teen was killed while texting in the front of the Albemarle Building at 325 N. Salisbury St. in Raleigh.

The father of the girl killed in that car will join Commissioner Causey, N.C. Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks, newly appointed State Highway Patrol Commander Col. Freddy Johnson and legislators in favor of a hands-free cell phone bill for the press conference at that location.

“Distracting driving can cause a driver to veer off the road or hit another car, resulting in property damage, injuries, or even death,” said Commissioner Causey. “Distracted driving can also put upward pressure on insurance companies to increase automobile insurance rates due to the number of claims filed as a result of accidents.”

Using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2019.

There are many forms of distracted driving – talking or texting on a cell phone, eating or drinking coffee, putting on makeup, setting the navigation system, changing the radio station or tending to a child in the car.

Commissioner Causey supports the Hands-Free North Carolina Act which prohibits the hand-held use of a cellphone or other wireless communication devices but allows the driver to make hands-free calls.  Drivers who are at least 18 years old would be able to use their cellphones if the phone is mounted in the vehicle and the call can be initiated or terminated by touching a single button, such as speed dialing.

Here are the details for Tuesday’s event:

WHO
Insurance Commissioner and State fire Marshal Mike Causey, N.C. Department of of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks, SHP Col. Freddy Johnson, Amos Johnson (father of teenager killed in a distracted driving accident), Rep. Garland Pierce, D-Scotland, and Sen. Kevin Corbin, R-Macon.
 
WHAT
Media event to emphasize the dangers of distracted driving
 
WHEN
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
11:00 a.m.
 
WHERE
Albemarle Building
325 N. Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
 
WHY
Commissioner Causey would like to inform citizens about the dangers of distracted driving to save lives and lower automobile insurance rates.

 

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.