New laws take effect in North Carolina, locals react

Recently, new laws have been approved in North Carolina. The 53 new laws deal mostly with minors and also with driving, such as no texting while driving a motor vehicle and new speed zone limitations.

In a world where the Internet has taken off in new, unimaginable ways, cyber bullying has now been made a criminal offense. If someone were found to be harassing someone online, they would be charged with misdemeanor. The law was founded under an act of “Protecting our Kids.”

One Western Carolina University student found the law to be unreasonable.

“Can’t people stand up for themselves?” asked Jean-Marie Jonell. “I think that’s kind of extreme to make that a misdemeanor. People say they don’t pick on other people, but they do… it’s a part of life you have to go through. (It’s) …a good punishment if it’s proven for the extreme.”

The law that has grabbed the most headlines is no texting while driving. Recently, states have been pushing for hard punishment when it comes to someone ending another’s life after a vehicular accident due to texting on their cell phones. According to “The New York Times”, Utah drivers can face a 15 year sentence in prison with a heavy fine if they cause a death from texting on the road. North Carolina has declared that anyone driving and suspected of texting will face a $100 fine plus any court fees.

Sgt. Jeff Gordon at the North Carolina Highway Patrol officer stated the law was mostly geared toward teenagers.

“It (a cell phone) provides distraction,” said Gordon. “When you text… you have to look down. Before you know it, your car is drifting. …It causes knee jerk reactions… and causes the vehicle to lose control. It’s not good.”

Western Carolina University students were also for the new law.

“I think it’s good, especially with the new phones,” said junior Jenna Englert. “It’s made for two hands… it’s just scary!”

Seth Sherrin said, “I think it is very appropriate and a good law, but I don’t see how it is effectively enforced… When the world has begun to revolve around a cell phone, we can get distracted with it especially while driving. I myself have almost been in a wreck due to texting while driving when I was in high school.”

Other new laws include placing cameras on the side of school buses to capture vehicles passing busses that are stopped to let children off, permitting a “habitual impaired” driver to apply for the reinstatement of his or her license after ten years, and license plate frames are no longer allowed to block any important information located on the license plate. This information includes the inspection sticker and the state name on the plate.

A full list of the new laws can be found at