May 3, 2012
Before it even had a chance to take effect, a Superior Court judge revoked the ban on using a cellphone while driving in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. WRAL News reported that the judge issued the cease-and–desist order Wednesday to await the outcome of a lawsuit hearing that challenges the ban and other town ordinances.
Chapel Hill town officials passed the ban by a narrow vote in March, despite the state Attorney General’s Office declaring the town doesn’t have the authority to pass the legislation, and the law was to take effect beginning in June. The law will make it a secondary offense to use an electronic handheld device at any time while operating a motor vehicle, punishable by a $25 fine. This means a violator would have to be pulled over for another reason in order to be fined.
The lawsuit in question, scheduled to be heard next Monday, was filed by a local Chapel Hill towing company and claims the ban “attempts to regulate a trade or business, but it applies only to limited counties and cities, and that makes it a local bill,” as stated an attorney for the company. Only the state has the authority to pass such law.
Distracted driving accounts for thousands of North Carolina Auto Accidents each year. That’s why the North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers with HensonFuerst Injury Lawyers ask that you never use a cellphone while driving.