I suspect the entire country knows by now that the Chapel Hill Town Council voted 5 to 4 to ban all cell phone use while operating a vehicle. Prior to making this decision they heard plenty about why this isn’t a god idea, but they did it anyway. It appears that logic and common sense was trumped by the desire to be the first to have such a law, even if it was uncertain that they stood on firm legal ground to do this.
This action is also troubling because our
police officers now have an even harder job.
If they stop someone and cite him or her for this secondary offense, the
exceptions, discriminatory, counter-productive, and illogical as they are, will
probably be used to get out of a ticket.
What’s the officer to do to prove that someone’s untruthful, snatch the
phone and review the call history? What
about our many visitors? This “only in Chapel
Hill only law” will confuse them.
line is that this unenforceable law will lead to less respect for the law, and
it’s not clear that it has any chance of affecting the serious problem of
distracted driving. Many people will
continue to drive while talking on their phones, and they will feel smug about
doing so if some court throws it out.
five in the majority didn’t want to wait for the General Assembly to act, nor
were they willing to wait to learn how much their education plan might actually
cost the taxpayers. If you respect our
citizens, our police officers, and our visitors, is this a way to show it? I think not.