First NC town bans cellphones while driving

CHAPEL HILL, NC (AP) -- Chapel Hill will be the first North Carolina community to ban using cellphones while driving when a local ordinance takes effect in June.

The town council voted 5-4 late Monday to outlaw both hand-held and hands-free cellphones while driving. Town officials have been considering the ban for two years, but acted after the state Legislature did not.

Cellphone use would be a secondary offense, meaning an officer must first stop a vehicle for another reason before issuing a citation for violating the ban. Violators would be fined $25.

North Carolina drivers already are prohibited from sending text messages while driving. Drivers under 18 are banned from any phone use.

Ten states and the District of Columbia have bans on using hand-held cellphones while driving.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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