Bill signed to shrink cell phone use near schools
BATON ROUGE - Drivers who use handheld cell phones in some school zones soon could face fines.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a measure by Rep. Jeff Thompson that calls for penalties against drivers who use handheld cellphones in school zones that choose to post a sign saying such use is prohibited.
Fines will be up to $175 for a first violation and up to $500 for additional violations.
Originally, the ban would have been statewide, but senators made it optional for school districts because of signage costs.
Thompson, a Republican from Bossier City, pushed the bill as a way to make school zones safer for children.
Jindal's office announced Thursday that he has signed it into law. It takes effect Aug. 1.