An e-mail being circulated throughout the state seeks to alert people to a new law banning motorists from speaking on cell phones while driving starting July 1. The only problem is that it's completely untrue. The state has not implemented such a ban, and lawmakers indicate one isn't in coming anytime soon. ''It's another Internet hoax," said Rep. Mark Hilton, R-Catawba. The phantom law was to allow hands-free devices such as Blue Tooth technology. California's recent approval of a similar ban may have spurred the rumors, officials said. Hilton said he received many e-mails and phone calls from constituents on the issue in the past couple of weeks.
The General Assembly has taken action in recent years to limit some cell phone use while driving. Legislation in December 2006 banned cell phone use by teen drivers under age 18 while driving. In 2007, cell phone use was banned for school bus drivers transporting students. A bill that would ban hand held cell phone use passed a Senate judiciary committee last year, but stalled. Hilton and Sen. Austin Allran said the bill has little chance of passing anytime soon. ''I don't think there is much support for it," Hilton said. "I certainly don't support it."
(THE NEWS & RECORD, 5/14/08).