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Chapel Hill bans cell phones while driving, except if it's mom (VIDEO)

Chapel Hill, North Carolina became the first town in the US to ban all cell phone use, including hands-free.
Chapel hill cell phone ban hands freeEnlarge
Chapel Hill, North Carolina became the first town in the United States to ban all cell phone use while driving, including hands-free, on March 26, 2012. The only exceptions to the law are emergency calls and calls from a spouse, parent or child. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Chapel Hill, North Carolina just became the first town in America to ban all cell phone use, including both hand-held and hands-free devices, said The Charlotte Observer.

The only exceptions to the rule would be calls from Mom, as the legislation still allows emergency calls and calls from a spouse, parent or child.

The legislation had been under consideration for two years and the council voted on Monday night to pass the law with a 5-4 vote. The Charlotte Observer said Mayor Kleinschmidt and council members Gene Pease, Laurin Easthom and Matt Czajkowski opposed the measure.

Council member Ed Harrison who cast the deciding vote after the council had been deadlocked earlier in the month said that most of the strange driving he encountered was "people who are talking on a cell phone."

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Penny Rich, another council member, said, "This is a safety and welfare issue for our town. And that is why I support this," according to CBS News.

The law comes into effect in June, when drivers breaking it will be fined $25. However, the police can only charge drivers when they have been pulled over for something else first.

Council member Laurin Easthom, who voted against the measure, said it was "ridiculous" that the measure said talking on a cell phone to a family member was an exception. She said, "How do police know if you’re talking to a family member? Are they going to take your phone from you? There’s a lot of things people do in cars that they shouldn’t do, but we can’t legislate on all of it," according to The Daily.

Chapel Hill's new law goes the farthest in the country, noted CBS News. No state bans all cell phone use, but nine make it illegal for drivers and 30 states ban teens from talking on the phone while driving.

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Here is a report from CBS News on how this will effect Americans who rely on cell phones while driving:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/chapel-hill-bans-cell-phones-hands-free-while-driving

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