Rep. Jones, lawyer differ on NC beach driving rule

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Congressional testimony from an environmental lawyer and a North Carolina congressman show different opinions as to whether beach drivers should be banned from some Cape Hatteras beaches.

Republican Rep. Walter Jones and Derb Carter of the Southern Environmental Law Center testified in Washington D.C. on Thursday before a U.S. House subcommittee.

Jones said told the subcommittee the ban hurts business on the Outer Banks, and has introduced legislation to only regulate off-road vehicles.

Carter said the new restrictions appear to be help birds and turtles make a comeback, noting that more than 2,500 vehicles used the beaches during the Fourth of July.

Under an out-of-court settlement, the National Park Service closed three areas along the seashore to beach drivers and pedestrians to protect the wildlife.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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