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New law limits cell phone use in school zones

A statewide ban on cell phone use in school zones will take effect Sept. 1. The ban prohibits talking and texting on a cell phone, unless it is done through a hands-free device in school zones.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 13,000 accidents over the past four years have been caused due to the use of cell phones.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the dialing of a hand-held device was found to have been a factor in 3.58 percent of crashes and near-crashes, and talking/listening on a hand-held device was a factor in 3.56 percent of crashes and near-crashes.

“I think the new law is a step forward in protecting our children while they are at school,” Laurie Carter, Pre-K teacher at The Brook Hill School, said. “Hopefully by prohibiting the use of cell phones in school zones we will be able to cut down on accidents that do not have to happen. Although some drivers may consider this new law an inconvenience, I think that in the long run it will benefit everyone involved, including the drivers.”

Although the new law may be inconvenient, many will agree that it is necessary. The main priority is to keep people safe and to prevent accidents that do not need to happen.

“I totally agree with this law. Children are not often aware of drivers, especially in school zones. It is the drivers responsibility to be paying attention and to be aware of their surroundings,” Christy Strickland, mother of an 8th grader at The Brook Hill School, said.

Justin Kuehn, a patrol officer for Smith County, believes that this law is important, although he feels that drivers shouldn’t have to have

certain laws implemented in order for them to drive safely.

“It’s important that drivers concentrate on their driving. Using cell phones, eating, and changing the radio station are all things that distract drivers and are dangerous to themselves and others around them. I feel that it is more important for drivers to use common sense than to have new laws concerning distractions while driving,” Kuehn said.

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