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School zones to become cell phone-free zones

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Big changes are coming to Amarillo's city laws starting Monday, August 22nd. 

Starting on the first day of school, it will be against the law to use your cell phone in Amarillo ISD school zones.

That includes talking and texting, from the moment the lights start flashing in the morning to the moment they stop flashing once the school day is over.

The only exception to this rule is if you're using a hands-free device. Those are allowed. While it's important you're never distracted while driving through school zones, authorities say it's especially important during the first few days of classes.

Amarillo Police Department's Cpl. Jerry Neufeld says "You've got small kids going into that elementary school. They're all excited. They want to get inside see their friends, meet their teachers, that kind of thing. They're not gonna be paying as much attention so as drivers we need to step it up and be more alert and more vigilant in our driving." 

If you are caught breaking the law, you'll be fined up to $200. There is no grace period.

Unless you're caught by a really generous officer, you won't get a warning, they'll write you a ticket right away.

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