Chapel Hill tiptoes toward cellphone ban for drivers
Posted September 12, 2011
Updated February 20, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — The town of Chapel Hill is moving slowly toward a ban on cell phones while driving, but town leaders found they had more questions than answers at a council meeting Monday night.
The town council voted 6-2 to move forward with considering a ban, but said they will need to consult with Attorney General Roy Cooper about whether they have the legal authority to enact one.
Councilwoman Penny Rich said prohibiting cell phones behind the wheel is a matter of public safety.
"It is a small town with a lot of people on cell phones in cars," she said. "(It's a) a big, big concern."
Chapel Hill resident Yael Filossof agreed.
"Any cell phone use while driving is a threat to public health," he said.
But others argued that the town might be overstepping its bounds.
"I think this is a state issue," said Gene Pease.
Councilman Matt Czajkowski said the issue is likely to "get a challenge," and he would like to see more investigation into whether the town has the authority to enact a ban and how they will pay to enforce it.