New fines for phone use in school zones unnecessary
October 3, 2011
Filed under Opinion
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The Texas Department of Public Safety has recently begun enforcing a new law concerning the use of cell phones in reduced- speed school zones. Signs have been posted at the beginning of each zone to make drivers aware of the costly fines they will face if caught using a mobile device in the area. Unless the vehicle is stopped completely, a hands-free device is used or the driver is making an emergency call, fines up to $200 may be issued. The new law is costly, completely unnecessary and a waste of time.
Distractions while driving are 100 percent inevitable. Although the law was created in order to reduce distraction and keep drivers more focused on the road and their surroundings, eliminating all of the distractions inside of a vehicle is impossible. The fact that drivers are not allowed to use a mobile phone in a school zone still does not guarantee they will have their complete attention on the road ahead of them. What’s next, banning radios, cosmetic mirrors, and passengers from vehicles? 495 signs were posted in school zones around Amarillo warning drivers that the use of cell phones is prohibited. The signs alone cost $10,000. This does not include the overtime spent on workers who rushed to get the signs posted before school began in August. Keep in mind the amount of debt the state of Texas is already dealing with and yet, the expense of the new law is not a concern. Therefore, an excessive amount of money is being wasted on a purpose for no reason. Money supply is quickly dropping for many government funded organizations, including schools, throughout the state, yet thousands of dollars are easily wasted in allegiance to this unnecessary law. Let’s think about our priorities here.
Although accidents are inevitable, drivers are required by law to be able to keep their vehicles under control. If one is skilled enough to talk on the phone, eat breakfast, put on make-up and manage the radio, it is likely that they will not discontinue their multitasking because of the chance they will be issued a fine. This law only creates an extra duty for law enforcers and an unfair expense for drivers. People will continue to drive the way they prefer to drive, whether that includes texting while doing so, or not.
All in all, the law is a waste of time, money and effort. The effects should be reconsidered and the necessity of the law should be questioned.