La. House to debate school zone cell phone ban
BATON ROUGE - The House will debate a proposal to ban drivers from talking on their cell phones during school zone hours, after the measure won the narrow backing Tuesday of the House Transportation Committee.
Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, said his bill (House Bill 370) would help ensure the safety of children. He described it as a minor inconvenience for drivers who would need to hang up briefly while driving through school zones during posted hours.
"When you are in a school zone, I like for you to have both of your hands on the wheel," Thompson said.
Rep. Jerry "Truck" Gisclair, D-Larose, opposed the proposal, saying that drivers already are required to slow down in school zones to ensure safety.
"People are driving safely with our cell phones," he said.
The transportation committee voted 8-7 to move the bill to the full House for debate.
If passed into law, violators would face a fine up to $175 on a first offense, then up to $500 on subsequent offenses. If the driver is involved in a crash while on a cell phone, the fine would be doubled.