Senate rejects ban on cellphones when driving in school zones

Motorists can continue to chat on their cellphones while driving through school zones.

Legislation that would have banned the use of a wireless telecommunication devices by drivers in school zones during posted hours failed Tuesday in the state Senate.

House Bill 370 received 16 favorable votes. It needed 20 for passage.

Under the measure, first time violators would face fines of $175.

State Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, asked if motorists could still smoke cigarettes or eat doughnuts while driving through school zones.

“It’s not about smoking the phone. It’s about holding the phone,” said state Sen. Robert Adley, who handled the bill on the Senate floor.

Murray continued, asking if women could still put on lipstick while driving.

“I wouldn’t get into a discussion of what ladies do in the car,” said Adley, R-Benton.

The vote on the bill was 16-16. It can be brought back up.