This is an absolute first: The town of Chapel Hill is the first in the nation to pass a law making it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving—and that includes hands-free phones.
According to an article in the News & Observer, the city council voted 5-4 to pass the ban. The deciding vote was cast by Ed Harrison, an avid cyclist who has seen erratic driving by cell phone users. When asked about the most dangerous driving habit, Harrison said:
“[It] is not by people who are eating things or combing their hair or putting on lipstick. It’s by people who are talking on a cell phone and not seeing me.”
The new law, which will go into effect on June 1, applies to all streets in the town of Chapel Hill, including state-owned roads. Emergency calls will be permitted.
The city of Evanston, Illinois, has banned hand-held cell phones, and is considering adding hands-free phones to the ban. Still, in the two years since Evanston’s ban became law, accidents have decreased 17.6%.
That’s a pretty persuasive number!
To read the full article in the News & Observer, click here: Chapel Hill Council Bans Cell-Phone Use