August 25, 2008
Did you remember to hang up and drive in West U?

Remember the West U school zone cellphone ban? Well, today is the first day of school, and not everyone remembered.

Police in West University Place, a small enclave city within southwest Houston, chose to issue warnings this morning to help drivers adjust to the new ordinance.

Lt. Charlie Deily said the two drivers who were stopped were "probably the only people in West University who didn't know about it."

"I think you're always going to have some people who aren't paying attention or just forget," Deily said.

The ban is in effect from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Violators could be liable for a fine of up to $200 for the first offense and up to $500 for repeat offenses.

Officer Merle Stewart issued a warning to a man who was using a BlackBerry while driving in the school zone in a silver Mercedes.

"It was a courtesy, and next time through, it'll be a ticket," she said.

"I saw it in his hand and I saw him manipulate it," Stewart said. "It surprised me because he saw me and he didn't put it down until I made him roll down the window. So he legitimately may not have been aware, but with the signs and everything, he should have."

Hey, there are people in this country who don't know who the President is. We shouldn't be surprised a couple of people didn't realize there was this new law in effect, however much it's been publicized. Frankly, the fact that only two warnings were issued should be taken as a positive sign.

Meanwhile this morning, at Lantrip Elementary, parents snapped pictures of their children -- dressed in fresh white or red polo shirts and navy pants -- in front of the newly renovated campus.

As long as they weren't using their cellphones while in their car to take the pictures, it's all good.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 25, 2008 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
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