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Monday, November 11, 2013

N.C. Supreme Court to review Chapel Hill towing, cell phone ordinances

Posted by on Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 8:02 AM

click to enlarge ED BROWN, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Ed Brown, Wikimedia Commons

Two controversial Chapel Hill ordinances—towing and mobile phones—will go before the N.C. Supreme Court, the town announced late Friday.

Meanwhile, a temporary stay and court injunction prevents the town from enforcing either ordinance.

The towing ordinance, which was to take effect in May 2012, requires that private tow zones be adequately marked with signage, that tow operators inform police when removing vehicles from private property and that they may not be towed farther than 15 miles outside the town limits. The ordinance also capped charges for towing from private lots.

George King, of George’s Towing, has challenged the ordinance, stating the provisions were overly burdensome and that the town does not have legislative authority to regulate towing as laid out in the ordinance.

The mobile phone ordinance was passed by Council and scheduled to go into effect in June 2012. It states drivers cannot use a cell phone—hands-free or handheld—while driving on any public street, highway or public area inside the town limited. However, police cannot stop a vehicle solely because the driver is violating the ordinance. The citation carries a $25 fine.

King is also challenging the mobile phone ordinance.

The town and King will now file legal briefs in the case and then it will be scheduled for a hearing.

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