Senate rejects handheld phone ban in school zones
BATON ROUGE - A proposal to ban drivers from using handheld cell phones in school zones has stalled in the state Senate.
Senators deadlocked in a 16-16 vote on the House-approved bill by Republican Rep. Jeff Thompson, of Bossier City. It needed 20 votes to pass.
Supporters say the measure would help ensure children's safety. But opponents say drivers have many types of distractions that go beyond cell phones, and they say school zones already require drivers to slow down to ensure safety.
The ban wouldn't take effect until Aug. 1, 2015, or until signs were posted notifying drivers, whichever came first.
Supporters of the measure can try to bring it up again before the legislative session ends June 2.