by Ashley Johnston*
Blinking lights, big yellow buses, and sounds of noisy children; you could be in a school zone. According to the Texas Transportation Code § 545.425, it is now against the law to use your cell phone while driving in a school zone. If you are caught using your cell phone you could be face consequences.
If you are driving in a school zone and your device is not, “hands free,” then you could be given a ticket and a fine of up to 200 dollars. “Hands-free device” means speakerphone capability or a telephone attachment that allows use of the phone device without use of either of your hands. Texting, calling, checking messages, and even looking at the time on your phone can all be categorized as use of your cell phone. And all are is subject to penalties described above.
If you are driving and come to a school zone, keep your hands off your phone – do not even touch it to turn it off. With accidents caused by drivers distracted by cell phones all too common, why take the risk? Put away the phone, make it to your destination safe, and avoid punishment. For more information, stop by Student Legal Services.