Chapel Hill’s citizens were enraged on Thursday when a Superior Court Judge overturned the town’s new rules outlawing the use of cell phones while driving any sort of motor vehicle or to regulate towing. Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson ruled that the attempt to ban the use of cell phones was preempted by state law, which already regulates the use of cell phones while driving. In other words, the Judge found that there was previously enacted  state law that gives the authority to regulate cell phone use by motorists in North Carolina to the state; not the town. Hence, when Mayor  Mark Kleinschmidt and the Town Council heard that their town rule have been over-turned, they were forced to consider drafting new towing ordinances in accordance with the Judge’s order.

This however may not be the last we hear of this case. The town has the option to bring an action to appeal the Judge’s decision and perhaps, heed different results. In fact, one local man stated that “nothing that happened in that courtroom this morning changed the fact that driving while talking on a cellphone is as dangerous as drunk driving,” he said. “It is going to get banned, just like drunk driving is banned, but not before a lot of people die.”

There are split theories on the idea of talking or using the cell phone while driving that are mainly fueled by emotions of the townspeople. The real heart of the matter is that it can be very dangerous to drive and talk.use your cell phone. The state of North Carolina hs already found it illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to talk on the phone, as their experience coupled with the use of the technology may result in deathly consequences. Moreover, the state has found that bus drivers are also forbidden from talking on their cell phones, as their duty to the public to drive safely is quite large. lastly, the state of North Carolina has taken the stance that any texting while driving by any person, at any age, is now also considered to be illegal.

Most people now know of someone either first-hand, or through a friend who has gotten into a dangerous accident while using their cell phone and driving. The problem is that people, although non-intentionally, tend to be careless when they drive and simultaneously use their cell phones. The state has placed a ban on texting and driving, but does that truly stop the problem? The answer is likely no; while the state is allowing people to continue use their cell phones for strictly        ” talking purposes,” it consequently runs the risk of having people behave negligently and recklessly with the use of the phone and perhaps, even send a text or two mid-drive. It is like the old saying goes, ” if you give a kid an inch, he will take a mile;” similarly, if you allow people to continue to ” talk” on the phone while driving, they will be inclined, or  maybe even tempted to use the phone for other purposes, such as texting.

As a fellow driver, we all owe one another the highest duty of care in regards to how we behave on our roadways. We need to be diligent and attentive at all times. We need to be courteous of each other, and respective of the laws. If the law forbids texting, then texting we shall not. And if you feel you can not safely talk on your cell phone while you drive, you too should refrain from this action. Being distracted is the number one reason why car accidents occur. Whether it is the CD that fell into the passenger side floor you are reaching for, or whether you are pulling you pink cell phone out to text your best friend that Rob and Kristen broke up- again;if you know that you can not give other drivers 110% of your attention, you should not be using your cell phone while you operate a motor vehicle, no matter what the law says.

There are too many lives that have been taken due to negligence with cell phones and drivers. In the event that you, or someone you know has been harmed in any way due to a similar situation, call the Law Offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP. We are licensed to practice in both North and South Carolina, and encourage you to visit our website at www.rjrlaw.com . Compare our attorneys’ credentials to any other firm. You can then call us toll-free at 877-374-5999 or contact us by email for a private, confidential consultation to review your particular case.