Chapel Hill Attorney Ralph Karpinos was  wrong, based on this ruling from Judge Orlando Hudson. Karpinos had said Chapel Hill’s ban on cell phone use while driving would hold up.


A judge overturned Chapel Hill’s new rules outlawing all cell phone use while driving and regulating towing.

Judge Orlando Hudson ruled Thursday morning that the cell phone law was pre-empted by the state legislature, which has already enacted laws regulating the use of cell phones while driving.

He also ruled that the towing ordinance constituted “regulating trade” and therefore is unconstitutional under the state’s Fourth Amendment. The town had set limits on fees and required tow truck companies to accept credit cards, among other measures, in response to residents’ complaints about “predatory towing” downtown.