The fate of Chapel Hill’s towing and mobile phone ordinances is once again up in the air after the North Carolina Supreme Court agreed on Friday to review the controversial laws.
The town’s modified towing ordinance, requiring tow zones to have clear signs, tow operators to alert the police department when they tow a vehicle and tow operators not to tow vehicles more than 15 miles outside of Chapel Hill, was supposed to go into effect in 2012.
That same year, the town made the use of cellphones while driving a secondary offense, meaning a driver pulled over for a different traffic violation could also be fined $25 for using their phone while driving.
In June, the N.C. Court of Appeals reviewed the ordinances in response to complaints from George King, the owner of George’s Towing and Recovery in Chapel Hill. The court ruled the town could enforce both laws, and King sought review by the state Supreme Court.
Although not originally connected, local towing companies argued the ordinances were contradictory — tow operators were required to alert police when they towed a vehicle, but could not use a cellphone while driving to do so.