City limits cell phones school zones, eyes texting ban
By LPR Staff
During a brief meeting of the Lockhart City Council on Tuesday evening, the council voted unanimously to move forward with installation of signs in area school zones notifying drivers they might be ticketed for using their cellular phones in school crossing zones.
The mandate was handed down from the State Legislature
, who under House Bill 55 voted to make using a cellular phone will driving in a school zone a ticketable traffic offense.
According to Lockhart Police Chief Mike Lummus, the new rules would not create an undue burden on his officers – instead giving them another thing to watch for while patrolling school zones.
Use of a celluar phone without handsfree device, including for texting, is punishable by a fine of up to $200.
Spurred by the new legislation, District 4 Councilmember Richard Banks suggested he would like to see the council consider an ordinance that would outlaw the use of cellular phones for texting while driving altogether within the city limits.
After Banks and Lummus went back and forth about the idea for a few minutes, discussing issues such as the dangers of texting while driving, Mayor James “Jimmy” Bertram asked the council for a consensus as to whether the council was interested in pursuing such an ordinance.
The topic will be slated for discussion on the agenda the next regular meeting of the Lockhart City Council.
In brief news:
The Council approved application for a grant under the Routine Airport Maintenance (RAMP) program that will help to pay for maintenance at the Lockhart Municipal Airport.
Bertram read a proclamation declaring September Hispanic Heritage Month.
They discussed a fundraising proposal which will partner the City of Lockhart with a local business to raise funds for Lockhart Animal Allies and the Lockhart Animal Shelter.
They discussed the calendar for budget approval, which will include a special-called meeting of the Lockhart City Council, with a budget hearing, on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.
The Lockhart City Council normally meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Glosserman Conference Center at Lockhart City Hall. The meetings are open to the public and televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 10.