Law
1:50 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Chapel Hill Mulls Cell Phone Ban for Drivers

Drivers in Chapel Hill may soon have to refrain from talking on their cell phones. A proposed ban on the practice is being considered in a public hearing tonight. Penny Rich serves on the town council. She says a second draft makes the proposal more enforceable by making it a second offense rather than a primary offense. She says that means drivers won't be pulled over for speaking on cell phones, but if they commit another violation while using the device, they would be written up for both offenses.

Penny Rich: You're four times more likely to get into a car accident when you're driving and talking. It's like having a blood alcohol level of drinking six beers in an hour, so you're actually driving impaired as though you were somewhat drunk. If you're texting, it's 23 more times likely that you get in a car accident.

Opponents of the ban say its unenforceable in part because it would only apply to streets owned by the town.