Chapel Hill has encacted an ordinance banning any use of a cell phone while driving. This is the very first such legislation in the country and will most definitely prevent needless injuries and save lives. As of June 1, 2012 any use of a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle in Chapel Hill is illegal and punishable by a $25 fine.
The question remains is this orinance preempted by North Carolina’s own anti-texting statute? Preemption is the argument that North Carolina’s legislature has already spoken on this subject by enacting specific legislation regarding the use of cell phones while driving and thus, any local government ordinance is preempted by the State’s legislation under a supremacy theory. This preempion challenge is certain to arise very quickly.