Cell phones in school zones illegal in Texas, not yet in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/10/10

Cell phones in school zones illegal in Texas, but not yet in Lubbock

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By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Using a cell phone in a school zone is illegal in Texas, but not technically illegal in Lubbock. 

In school zones, during school hours lower speed limits are a must, but to ensure the safety of children, in September the Texas legislature decided to ban using a cell phone while driving in a school zone, but signs must be present.

Norma Chadis is a crossing guard for Lubbock Cooper Independent School District and she has seen firsthand the dangers of cell phones in school zones.

"It gets kind of dangerous out here because of the cell phones.  They almost ran over me because they were texting or talking on the phone and not paying attention," said Chadis.

In September the state passed a law that says if you are in a school zone and moving you can not use a cell phone, unless its hands free, but this law cannot be enforced unless signs are present.

Rick Saldana is the Director of Safety and Emergency Management for Lubbock Cooper ISD and he is ready to enforce this law.

"If you are talking on the phone, that causes distraction and obviously it takes the focus of the roadway and it does cause a potential danger," said Saldana.

The Chairman of the City of Lubbock Citizens Traffic Commission Ronnie Sowell says this was at the top of their list at Tuesday's meeting.

"We voted yesterday unanimously to ask the city council to go ahead with this as soon as possible and to allocate those funds as soon as they possibly can," said Sowell.

The cost $75,000 to put up signs in the Lubbock, Lubbock Cooper, and Frenship school districts.

"There are no negatives to this statue that I see, other than to some people the cost of it, but when you are dealing with the safety of our children to me it's a no brainer," said Sowell.

But until then you can bet Chadis will keep a watchful eye to help prevent someone's mistake from becoming a tragedy.

"The sooner it goes into affect the better I'm going to be too, and not just me, it's the students that I'm out here to protect," said Chadis.

The Citizens Traffic Commission has recommended that traffic engineering now go before city council to try to get the funding.  Once this law is enforced, violators could face up to a $300,000

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