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School Zone Cell Phone Use Bill Passes Senate

By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, cklint@ktuu.com
Published On: Feb 14 2014 10:45:00 PM AKST
Alaska Senate
JUNEAU -

The Alaska Senate passed a bill that would give cities the power to restrict cell phone use within school zones, with some calling it a tool to help Alaska's school districts protect its children

"It's crazy times when parents are dropping off their kids," said Sen. Kevin Meyer, (R-Anchorage), who sponsored the legislation. "Kids are running across the street as quickly as possible."

Meyer says he crafted the bill after a constituent told him he was rear ended in a school zone by a driver on their cell phone.

"I wish it went a little further, and instead of having permissive language for municipalities," said Sen. Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage). "I would support an effort to simply mandate in school zones, that you can't be on a cell phone."

Senators Mike Dunleavy and Pete Kelly voted against the measure.

"Cell phones and driving as the cause for accidents, is a good thing to deal with, but distracted driving is a much broader category," said Kelly (R-Fairbanks).

The bill needs approval from the House and a signature by the governor before becoming law.