Bill For Total Cell Phone Ban In And Around School Zones On Final Vote

May 13, 2013

Currently drivers are required to put down their cell phone while driving through the areas of a school, which are usually governed by flashing lights and warning signs. 

House Bill 347, which was authored by Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, and sponsored by Sen. Bob Nichols, R-Jacksonville, takes that law two steps further.

"Local communities, if they want to, can adopt a no-wireless use, which bans talking or texting while you are in that zone. The problem was as soon as they pulled off the street into the driveway or parking lot the law did not apply to that," Nichols said.

Nichols said this bill would ban parents from picking up their cell phone while waiting in line to pick up their kids. It also bans high school students and teachers from touching their cell phone while in the campus parking lot.

"This bill allows the enforcement or prohibition just during that period of time on the school property as well. We had several superintendents contact Chairman Pitts as I understand and ask what they can do and that became the basis of the bill," Nichols said.

Pitt’s bill was approved by the House, and now moves out of the Senate Transportation Committee for a full Senate vote. 

If made law, any parent or student driver caught using their cell phone while on school property would be subject to a Class C Misdemeanor crime.