HB 347

83(R) - 2013
Transportation & Infrastructure

Vote Recommendation

Vote No; Amend
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Negative
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Jim Pitts

Bill Caption

Relating to prohibiting using a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle on school property.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. Costs associated with enforcement and prosecution,and revenue gain from fines imposed and collected would vary depending on the number of offenses committed; however, the amounts are not anticipated to have a significant fiscal impact.

Bill Analysis

Summary of Legislation: This legislation expands the prohibition of wireless communication devices in certain areas, including public or private elementary or middle schools.  The offense constitutes a Class C misdemeanor which carries a fine of up to $500.

Notes: This bill creates an offense where there was none. The legislation cites no statistical or empirical evidence that cell phone usage while driving on school property increases the number of traffic accidents, nor does the legislation demonstrate that prohibiting cell phone usage in those areas will reduce traffic accidents. HB 347 also applies to private school property, infringing on the rights of those schools to set rules and regulations pertaining to their own property. Furthermore, this bill does not specify if the property in question will remain a prohibition zone after school hours, during school sanctioned events, on weekends, or when school is out of session.

RecommendationWe recommend legislators oppose HB 347 unless it is amended  to clarify when cell phone use while driving on school property is prohibited and by exempting private schools. Should the House adopt these changes, we will reconsider our vote recommendation.