Law
9:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Chapel Hill to Vote on Cell Phone Ban

Town of Chapel Hill officials are scheduled to vote tonight on banning the use of cell phones while driving.

Leoneda Inge:  Members of the Chapel Hill town council have heard all sides of the cell-phone-while-driving debate.   An emotional Karen Turner came down from Asheville to speak at last month’s public hearing.   Her brother Joel Severson was killed on I-40 in an accident triggered by a driver who was texting.

Karen Turner:  I cannot begin to tell you how I feel, when I’m driving down the road, and I see another driver swerving towards my lane only to discover they are on a cell phone, either texting or talking. I am so fearful that it will be like Joel, able to see what is coming at me but unable to stop it.

The state attorney general’s office says Chapel Hill does not have the authority to enact a cell phone ban on motorists. Town attorney Ralph Karpinos disagrees and says many entities support the ban, including the National Transportation Safety Board.