CHAPEL HILL – You won’t get fined for driving while using your cell phone–at least not yet–but Chapel Hill is still trying to discourage the use of the distracting devices.
Chapel Hill officials are proposing adding signs to encourage drivers not to use their cell phones.
The signs also work to inform incoming drivers of the cell phone policies in Chapel Hill. While the town’s ban on driving while on a cell phone has not been implemented yet due to court hold-ups and the self-imposed need for further review, the signs are being proposed with the assumption that the law will be put into place.
The signs will be added to Chapel Hill town limit signs, which Chapel Hill Public Information Officer Catherine Lazorko says was with efficiency in mind.
“Those are signs that are already installed,” Lazorko says. “They’re already in place at various locations and it would be a convenient way to attach that new message to the existing signs to let motorists know when they’re entering the community about our cell phone rules.”
She says those working on spreading awareness of the cell phone ordinance are also planning to reach out to the town’s Visitor’s Bureau and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Lazorko says the town has already tried similar outreach programs with UNC.
“About a year ago, we held a driving simulator that helps people to understand how talking a cell phone impairs their driving,” Lazorko says. “That was really quite successful.”
Chapel Hill police are also concentrating efforts on the U.S. Highway 15-501 corridor and on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, where there were 470 crashes in 2012.