UNCC students encouraged to halt texting and driving

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - University of North Carolina at Charlotte students are getting some encouragement to stop texting while driving.

Attorney General Roy Cooper visited the campus Wednesday to talk about a new campaign to show the dangers of distracted driving.

Cooper said texting and driving is becoming a bigger issue than even drinking and driving.

In an effort to show how dangerous it is and how quickly a situation can change on the road, AT&T set up a driving simulator on campus. Students got in and text messages were sent to them. Then they had to respond, all while avoiding obstacles, stop light and other cars.

Cooper said the state is working on tougher laws to crack down on texting and driving. He said right now, those caught may only be fined $300.

Even students who crashed while driving the simulators admit to regularly texting while driving.

"I feel like I have to have my phone on me at all times. I have to stay connected with my family and friends. I have to be in the know at all times," said student Aviance Brown.

Eyewitness News will have more on Cooper’s efforts to make North Carolina roads safer starting at 5 p.m.