Police remind talking on cell phone while driving in a school zone is illegal

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SHERMAN, TX - Keeping kids safe as they head to school is a top priority.
But already crossing guards in sherman say they've seen some dangerous behavior from drivers in school zones.
That behavior is not only risky, it's costly if you're caught.

"Please please watch for the kids," said Mary Ann Dunavan, crossing guard. "They're excited, they're running, and they're not thinking. But, the adults need to be."

School is in and local police want to remind people that talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving is not going to fly in a school zone.

"Especially the first couple of weeks," said Sgt. Bruce Dawsey, Sherman Police. "You know, kids are excited about going back to school. They're running out between cars. They're not paying attention, and it's usually a crowded congested area. So the last thing you want is for someone to be distracted."

But with more and more people turning to cell phones, there are sure to be more people talking and driving.

"It appears that it is getting worse," said Dawsey, "because more and more people are having phones that are capable of surfing the internet or sending text messages."

"This morning I've already had a teenager on her phone and an adult that looked like she was texting through the school zone," Dunavan said.

If you have to talk on the phone, police say it is legal to use a bluetooth or your car's speaker system, but holding the phone is against the law.

"If they have the phone up to their ear, that's all it takes, Dawsey said. "If you're in a school zone and it's during school zone hours and you have that phone up to your ear your in violation and you could get pulled over and receive a citation."

223 dollars. Seems kind of steep right? Well, there's a reason for that.

"That can be expensive," said Dawsey, "and we want it to be expensive for the sole reason of keeping people from doing it."

But it's a fine that's easy to avoid.

"For the most part," said Dawsey, "people just need to realize that during school zone hours if you're in a school zone stay off the phone."

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