Driving With Cell Phones Still a Big Chapel Hill Problem

Driving while talking on the phone, handheld or hands free, is as dangerous as drunk driving.  Here in Chapel Hill we have 28,000 students who grew up with cell phones and take for granted communications with their friends and families.

This expectation remains when they get behind the wheel, a prescription for tragedy.  This problem will become exponentially worse as new cars replace older ones.  New cars have built in infotainment systems, best described as smart phones mounted in the center of the dashboard.  Car companies say their customers, especially their younger ones, demand them and address this safety issue by saying they are voice controlled and hands free.

What fatal nonsense.

Someone without a profit motive must address this issue.  The cellphone driving issue will not vanish because the judge rules that it is uniquely a state matter and our conservative legislature will not regulate it.

Eventually, towns will have to step in, but in the meantime, more people will be killed and injured.

— Joe Caposki


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Four NC Cities Make WalletHub’s Most ‘Driver-Friendly’ List

Daily rush-hour commuters may be surprised to learn they’re living in one of the top 10 driver-friendly cities – but four North Carolina cities have earned that honor.

The personal finance website WalletHub just released a list called “2015’s Best and Worst Cities to Be a Driver,” and Greensboro is the top-rated North Carolina city, at number four.

Durham is rated at number four among U.S. cities, while Winston-Salem is ranked at number nine, and Raleigh is number 10.

WalletHub’s rankings are based on average gas prices, average annual traffic delays, rates of car theft and car clubs per capita.

The number one city for driving, according to WalletHub, is Lubbock, TX.

Ranking lowest among the list of one hundred most populated cities is good old New York, NY.


Road Safety In 2014; World Book Night; Home For The Holidays

ORANGE COUNT – The Town of Chapel Hill is kicking off 2014 by asking you to make a resolution to drive with care and pay attention when walking or biking.

Chapel Hill continues to try to be a walk- and bike-friendly town with the promotion of safety at crosswalks and on roadways.

The Town is hosting three crosswalk education outreach sessions for motorist, pedestrians and drivers:

• January 8 – 10 to 11 a.m. on Pittsboro Street near SECU and McCauley Street
• January 22 – 5 to 6 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
• January 28 – 8 to 9 a.m. on Franklin Street near Granville Towers and E. Franklin Street at Elizabeth Street (Stroud Hill)


You still have time to register as a Book Giver for World Book Night.

World Book Night is an annual celebration in which people spread the love of reading by going out into their communities and give out paperbacks to light and non-readers.

Each Book Giver receives 20 World Book Night paperbacks to give out, and OrangeCounty’s main library will be one of the pickup sites for the givers. The library will also hold a reception for the givers the week before World Book Night.

World Book Night is April 23 this year. Tens of thousands are expected to participate again.

You have until January 5 to register to be a Book Giver.

For more information, click here.


Take a trip to the Orange County main library and you’ll see the Orange County Animal Services decorations of shelter pets in need of adoption.

Photos of animals that need a new home and some who have already gotten one will be on display until January 11 as part of the “Home for the Holidays” annual campaign to raise awareness for the shelter.

Animal Services is also giving a special deal for adoptions with dogs available for $60 and cats available for $50.

If you want to help Orange County Animal Services—even if it’s just to donate food—you can find more information by clicking here.


NC Launches Campaign Against Drunken Driving

Photo courtesy of Lawyer.com

RALEIGH – Authorities say law enforcement officers are out in full force across North Carolina to catch drunken drivers.

The Department of Transportation says the Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign kicks off this weekend and runs through Sept. 2.

The director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program says young adults often celebrate with alcohol as they say goodbye to summer and head back to school. Don Nail says the campaign is designed to remind them they should designate a sober driver, call a cab or take public transit.

New public service announcements are running on television and social media.

The transportation agency says there were nearly 11,000 alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina last year. More than half of them involved drivers between 18 and 34 years old.