A story in the Dallas Morning News warns that it may very soon be illegal and fineable to use a cell phone for calls or texting in a DISD school zone.
Yeah, that's all well and good to make that announcement, but what I really want to know is -- who exactly are they expecting to enforce this law?
As you know, I work out in the school zone every morning before classes. And I consistently see people speeding -- parents, teachers, and bus drivers -- which I'm pretty certain is illegal as well. But what is happening to these people? Absolutely nothing. I think there was ONE day, last year, when a police officer was near the school and wrote a couple of tickets.
But otherwise, the speed limit is not enforced. Anonymous Joe and I tell people to slow down, but we have no real authority over them (and usually the people just tell us that they were going 20 anyway, even when it's obvious they were going over 30). If they pass this law that makes cell phones illegal in the school zone, that will just serve as another annoyance to Anonymous Joe and me. Because WE'LL be the ones that have to tell people, "You know, it's illegal now to use your cell phone in the school zone." To which people will undoubtedly reply, "I was just holding my phone, I wasn't using it," or, "I know, but this is a really important call!"
My suggestion to the city of Dallas is don't worry about proposing new laws until you put a system in place to enforce the existing ones. Assign a police officer to park his car in the street right behind my school, and I guarantee you he'll be busy for an hour writing tickets.
I'm not even suggesting that we need a police officer for every school for every day. But how about rotating them randomly through a set of schools so that they're at my school one day every two weeks. And no one will know when that day is going to be. THEN maybe people will have the fear in them enough to actually drive the speed limit.
And only then will people have the fear in them not to use a cell phone when dropping their kids off.