Texting in school zones could soon be illegal in Amarillo

Next year may usher in some major changes to the way you drive in school zones, that includes those of you who still text while you drive.

The last legislative session in Austin addressed the problems of texting while driving in school zones. But in order for the law to be enforced, warning signs must first be in place.

The Amarillo Traffic Commission is set to vote on that very subject this week. In the last few meetings, the Traffic Commission has deliberated the pros and cons of placing those warning signs in Amarillo school zones. The signs would give law enforcement what it needs to start enforcing the law against it.

On Wednesday, the Commission is expected to vote on placing the signs in all school zones.

"Again, it's an important decision to make the decision not to allow people to text in school zones," said Ellen Robertson Green, Amarillo Traffic Commission member.

About 400 signs will cost the city $30,000, but Green said she believes it's money well spent.

There are already signs at a number of schools near highways in Potter County.

Sheriff Brian Thomas also agrees that anything that can be done to protect students is a move forward.

"I believe it's right to make roads safer....we live in a fast-paced world and people are in a hurry and with driving distractions being what they are...if we can put a stop to it, we need to do that."

Which is why the Traffic Commission is set to vote on the issue.

"I think it's very important that we protect school children no matter what age, from elementary to high-schoolers driving, as only high-schoolers can, and it's important that everybody practice that kind of safety and not text," said Green.

The Traffic Commission meets in the City Commission's chambers at City Hall Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 if you'd like to have your voice heard on the issue.