With school starting next week on Thursday, Aug. 17, the Princeton Police Department is asking citizens one thing: just put it down when it comes to cell phone usage.
Already in place is a law that makes it illegal to drive through school zones using a handheld electronic device, i.e. cell phone.
Sept. 1, a new law recently adopted by the Texas Legislature, makes it illegal to text and drive anywhere in the state due to an increased number of wrecks.
“Keep it down while driving through town,” Police Chief James Waters said.
Police will also be on the lookout for traffic violations as they apply to school zones and bus loading and unloading operations.
“The police department will be conducting multiple traffic enforcement areas to start attacking the issues of cell phone use, speeders and no seat belts inside school zones,” Police Chief James Waters said.
The use of cell phones in school zones illegal if use of that phone is visible in the hands of a user, that includes talking, texting, checking email, etc. Cell phone use through Bluetooth connections in cars is permissible but not recommended.
“It is requested that the drivers pay extra attention inside school zones,” Waters said. “If they can, we ask that they pass on that cell phone call until later.”
An area in which police will give special attention this year is vehicles parking in fire lanes around school facilities. Fire lanes are clearly marked with red lines creating an area between driveways or parking lots and a building, such as at the high school auditorium and at the football stadium.
PISD operates nine campuses in which traffic will pick up Thursday. Drivers are especially encouraged to pay attention while driving along Hwy. 380 where traffic is impacted by the high school and junior high school.
School buses pose another challenge for safety and, again, following the law is simple. When the red lights on a school bus are flashing, indicating a student is loading or unloading, it is illegal to pass the bus from any direction, whether following or meeting.
“This will be a zero tolerance policy,” Waters declares.
The no passing law even applies on
Hwy. 380 because the roadway is not divided by a raised median or grassy area.
During the school year, two school resource officers are being employed by Princeton PD and Princeton ISD. Their primary purposes are to patrol school campuses.
By Wyndi Veigel • News Editor • [email protected]
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