No handheld devices in Gainesville school zones

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

GAINESVILLE, Tex. -- Gainesville drivers will soon have to put phone conversations on hold in school zones. On Tuesday the city council passed an ordinance barring driving with a handheld device during active school zones.

City leaders say so far no children have been hit by a driver on a cell phone, but they hope this pro-active measure will prevent accidents in the future.

"You have high traffic number 1, and then 2 you have a lot of kids and sometimes they dart between traffic and they felt it was important for a safety factor," says Barry Sullivan, Gainesville city manager.

A crossing guard suggested the ban after seeing scary moments involving drivers and cell phones. The council agreed, passing the ordinance in a meeting Tuesday night.

The North Dallas city Highland Park passed a similar ordinance several months ago, and the Gainesville decided to follow suit.

"I agree with that,” says Barbara Plumlee, a Gainesville driver. “I think that's a good thing, the kids around the area it's going to help save from a lot of accidents."

Sullivan says the city has spoken with TX-Dot officials to install signs like these at every school zone in the city. Even though most everyone is guilty of talking on cell phones, Sullivan says the goal is to protect children entering and leaving school.

"The idea of this is safety, it's not to write tickets," Sullivan says.

A person could still receive up to $200 in fines for violating the rule.

City leaders suggest just hanging up or using a hands free device when you see those flashing lights. The hands free devices are permitted, this includes an ear piece.

The ordinance will go into effect once the city installs the signs, which they say will be very soon.

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  • by Sean Location: Oklahoma on Feb 8, 2008 at 02:24 PM
    KXII news reporter Emi is doing an awesome job and I suggest she get promoted in the near future as a main anchor. Keep up the work Emi!!!
  • by B.W. Location: Sherman on Feb 8, 2008 at 02:14 PM
    Butch and I am sure you are one of these idoits that stay on your cell phone and talk while in school zone or better yet you set in the passing lane and could care less to get off in the right lane where people are suppose to drive if you are not passing someone
  • by Butch "Dubya" Hickson Location: The Stix on Feb 7, 2008 at 04:51 PM
    When are they going to make a law outlawing eating a burger and driving in school zone? When are they going to make a law against changing the radio station and driving in school zone? When are they going to stop drinking a 64 oz. slushee drink and driving in school zone? Shaving & driving in school zone? Putting make-up & driving in school zone? Changing CDs & driving in school zone? Turning around and spankin' the kids in backseat & driving in school zone? . . . . . I could go on but. . . . DONT YOU GET IT PEOPLE! THIS IS A STUPID LAW! THIS LAW IS NOT NEEDED! EITHER YOU ARE A RESPONSIBLE DRIVER OR NOT! THERE SHOULD NOT BE A LAW FOR CELLPHONES & DRIVING! IF YOU CANNOT TALK ON CELLPHONE AND DRIVE SAFELY THEN DONT! IF YOU CANT EAT A BURGER & DRIVE SAFELY THEN DONT! IF YOU CANT CHANGE RADIO STATION & DRIVE SAFELY THEN DONT! IF YOU CAN, THEN GREAT! YOU GET MY POINT! ITS CALLED RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!! THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE THIS THING CALLED A DRIVER'S LICENSE!
  • by suzy Location: gainesville on Feb 7, 2008 at 03:05 PM
    you stupid people I'm sure you can wait to get home to talk on the phone.I"M sure the police dept. has better things to do than babysit dumb as-es like you,you are the ones takeing them away from doing their job,so dont blame the cops
  • by John Location: texas on Feb 7, 2008 at 10:06 AM
    I agree with driver not paying attention what does G P D have nothing else to do but write cell phone tickets, I beleive there is more crime than this.
  • by benny-san Location: denison on Feb 7, 2008 at 04:52 AM seems to me that the problem is inattention, right? Just because a person has two hands on the wheel doesn't make them a better driver. If I am talking on my hands-free and holding a coke in one hand while driving through the school zone, does that mean I should be stopped and fined? Wouldn't that be the same difference? The ordinance should read "no cell phone use whatsoever" to be more effective.
  • by J.D. Location: Sherman on Feb 6, 2008 at 11:17 PM
    I concur, 100%
  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Feb 6, 2008 at 08:52 PM
    I think all the schools here in Grayson County need to start doing this, not just in school zones but out on the highways too
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