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Chapel Hill Bans Hands-free Cell Phone Devices


Posted on Apr 23, 2012

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has implemented a cell phone ban unlike any other law in the country. Starting on June 1, those driving within city limits will not be allowed to talk on the cell phone while driving, use a mobile device while driving, or use a hands-free mobile device while driving.

While many cities and states have recently adopted laws regarding cell phone use, no other municipality has banned hands-free mobile devices. Some studies have found that even hands-free devices distract drivers from the road in a way that is more dangerous than talking with a passenger in the vehicle.

North Carolina has laws that ban all drivers from texting while driving. Teens and commercial drivers can’t talk on the cell phone while driving but can use hands-free devices.

The new law began forming last year after a University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill student was struck by another student – one who was allegedly talking on the phone at the time of the North Carolina car accident. The city council voted for the new ordinance in a 5-4 vote, with one member, Ed Harrison noting that he has often seen drivers distracted by their cell phone while he is riding his bike.

Those who ignore the law, which will be enforced on city and state roads, will pay a $25 fine.

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