Kentucky Lawmakers Discussing ‘No Cell Phone Zones’

There may soon be fewer places to legally use a cell phone in Kentucky. Lawmakers in Frankfort are discussing a bill that makes it illegal to use a phone while driving near a school or work zone. Fines would be $50 the first time a driver is caught, and $100 for each additional offense.

We’re taught to look both ways before crossing the street. But what worries some parents isn’t looking left or right, it’s looking down.

“It’s just so easy to look down and then look back up and then have something be right in front of you,” says Lori Cecil of Owensboro.

That’s why lawmakers are looking at ways to cut the distractions, and the dangers.

“You have to really be looking because people just aren’t observant, even when the lights are flashing, even with the crossing guard, they’re not observing,” says Debbie Williams of Owensboro.

The Kentucky General Assembly is considering a bill that makes it illegal to use a cell phone in or near school zone or a construction zone.  The bill also increases the fines for people caught texting while driving.

“If you’re involved in picking up kids and dismissing kids, or you work in a work zone, you know how dangerous it can be,” says David Johnson of Owensboro Public Schools. He says the proposed law is needed to protect students, and parents picking them up, especially with some schools like Owensboro High located on busy streets.

“Frederica Street is a busy thoroughfare through Owensboro. It’s our main artery. So, those cars are coming north and south in front of the high school,” says Johnson. “Having a text and talk free zone for us would be advantageous.”

Critics say the bill is too intrusive, but others don’t look at it that way.

“I think people spend way too much driving time on their cell phone and it’s so easy to look back down and look back up and just that second something can happen,” Cecil adds.

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