What to know:
- Channel 9 watched the interstate and caught truck drivers taking their eyes off the road to text and holding cellphones up to their ears.
- In 2014, federal and state authorities issued 19,000 citations across the nation for illegal cellphone use.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- Charlotte's highways are full of trucks and truckers.
What you may not know, though, is that some of them are illegally putting your safety at risk.
An Eyewitness News investigation found multiple examples of truck drivers talking on their phones and texting while behind the wheel. Drivers we spoke with say they see them too.
"I catch drivers like this all the time doing this," veteran trucker Peter Brooks said.
Eyewitness News cameras caught drivers with cellphones held up to their ears and others texting while driving.
SLIDESHOW: Channel 9 investigates texting truck drivers
North Carolina Motor Carrier Enforcement officers say it's a clear violation of state and federal laws which ban commercial drivers from using a handheld mobile device while driving. NCHP Sgt. Ronnie Worley says it's dangerous for truckers and everyone else on the road too.
“These guys that operate the 80,000-pound vehicles out there, they need to be paying attention 100 percent of the time,” Worley said.
Across the country, texting and driving has been blamed for multiple crashes.
“Just being distracted for that split second can cost someone their life," Worley said. “If you're going 60 miles per hour and you're in an 18-wheeler and you're texting, all of the sudden you've traveled several hundred feet in that time."
Federal and state authorities say they take texting and driving seriously.
In 2014, they wrote more than 19,000 citations across the country for illegal cellphone use while driving. Fines and court costs are a deterrent, but state troopers admit they haven't stopped truckers from illegally using their phones.
“I'm sure they're out there (texting and driving)," Worley said. “We just hope one of our troopers can get to them.”
Read more related content:
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- 9 Investigates: Troopers explain difficulty enforcing texting-while-driving ban