Chapel Hill bans all cell phone use while driving

Chapel Hill, NC, has banned virtually all cell phone use while driving within the city limits.

The ban includes hands free cell phone use.  Exceptions include calling 911 or emergency situations with a child or spouse.

Some say the law is too much government interference into individual rights.  As one who has had to swerve both my motorcycle and my Jeep to the side of the road (and sometimes off the road) to avoid a distracted driver talking on the cell phone, I say such laws are long overdue and should be nationwide.

Studies show distracted driving is more dangerous than operating a motor vehicle while drunk.  I’m not surprised.  Two years ago, a Virginia State Trooper riding off duty on his motorcycle died when his Harley struck a car that pulled out in front of him on U.S. 220 near Martinsville.  The driver of the car was talking on a cell phone.

Last week, I was on U.S. 221 just south of Ingram’s Store when a Ford Taurus came over the hill straddling the center line.  I had to swerve my Harley sharply to avoid a collision while the driver chatted away on her cell phone.

Chapel Hill’s new law only carries a $25 fine and is a “secondary offense,” which means the cop must stop you for something else.  It should be a primary offense with a higher fine and points taken off your license.

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