City becomes first to totally ban cellphone use while driving

You’ve probably heard about studies that show distracted driving is a huge problem in this country. Drivers chatting away on their cellphone or checking their email on their mobile device sometimes cause car accidents.

Some states ban talking on a cellphone while driving, and yet more ban texting. Now, one city in another state is banning cellphone use while driving completely, including hands-free devices. The ban is the first of its kind in the country. Could cities in Florida be next?

The town made an addition to the code that specifically bans drivers 18 and older from using a cellphone or “related technology” while driving. (Those under 18 are already banned from doing so.) Restricted areas mentioned include public streets and “vehicular areas,” according to PCMag.com. The ban includes not only cellphones, but digital devices that can access digital media.

Safety advocates cheered the movie, as did the president of the National Safety Council, who says the move should help make the roads safer.

Using a cellphone would be considered a secondary offense, meaning that a driver can’t be pulled over just for using a cellphone. They would have to be flagged for another violation, such as speeding, first.

In addition, there are numerous exceptions to the ban. It’s apparently fine if drivers call someone as long as it’s a parent, child, legal guardian or spouse. They can also use phones in emergency situations. They can even call to make a doctor’s appointment if they can show who they were calling.

Source: PCMag.com, “Chapel Hill enacts total cellphone ban on drivers,” Mark Hachman, March 29, 2012