With the holidays right around the corner, many of you are using your phones to navigate the roads. Police officers say be careful because this could get you pulled over and ticketed.

Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving, according to the National Safety Council. That's also why officers are cracking down on using your phone while driving, especially in school zones.

"That's where children are going to be walking and getting on buses."

Jesse Cox is a Metro Police officer and sees reckless driving in school zones all too often.

According to Rutherford County Sheriff's Department, five students waiting for their school bus lost their lives when struck by drivers in just one week. This past fall, some of these instances were caused by distracted driving, including cell phone use.

Starting this year, it's against the law to use your cell phone in an active school zone, this includes texting or talking on the phone.

The laws for regular roads are different though.

"You're allowed to talk on your cellphone and you can receive texts as long as your vehicle's not in motion. If your vehicles in motion you need to have your phone down."

According to the National Safety Council, 1 out of every 4 traffic crashes in the U.S. are caused by drivers using their cell phone. If you're caught, you'll be given a $50 ticket including court fees.

If you're caught violating laws in a school zone, like not stopping when you see flashing red lights on a school bus, it could cost you a $50 fine and $328.50 in court costs.

"All those laws are to keep children safe and that's what officers are trying to do."

Police officers urge you to keep your eyes on the road, especially with harsh weather conditions coming our way. You can even get cheap car mounts so you're not holding your phone while driving.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lindsey Nance joined the News4 team in June 2018 as a reporter, videographer and editor focusing on Rutherford County news.

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