According to the Washington, D.C.-based Transportation Research Board, 100 children are killed each year walking to and from school, and about 25,000 are injured.
"That’s a lot of kids. You know one of my jobs as a lawmaker is to protect those who can’t protect themselves, like our children, and that’s what this bill does,” said Boca Raton Democratic Representative Irv Slosberg.
Under a bill he recently filed, Slosberg says he wants to cut down on those figures by making it illegal to use cell phones while driving on school property as well as in school zones—hands-free devices included.
“In my bill, there’s no talking on the telephone, there’s no texting, there’s no anything, so no one would get confused so someone could say they’re on their GPS, or they’re on their Pandora, or they were changing the music,” added Slosberg.
Slosberg says the dangers and distractions are much greater inside a school zone, and drivers should be held to stricter standards.
“In school zones, they’re filled with young, inattentive children, inexperienced teenage drivers, a large crowd of school buses, a plethora of distractions in the cars…there’s Facebook, there’s checking in and checking out, there’s all sorts of social media, twitter, everything’s going on in the car, and you just have to pay more attention in school zones,” said Slosberg.
Slosberg’s bill would make phone use in school zones a primary offense, meaning law enforcement officers can pull drivers over for the violation. He says that’s different from the current texting while driving ban, which is a secondary offense, meaning drivers have to be pulled over for something else first.
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