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Abilene Violations Hit An All Time High For Texting In School Zones

Just crossing this street has become a daily danger.
 School personnel are back on duty to make sure drivers remember to follow the rules when entering a school zone during the busiest hours. 

Just crossing this street has become a daily danger.

"I'm surprised after all the years that I've been here that some child hasn't been run over," said James Blankenship, a volunteer crossing guard for Abilene schools.

Now add the 30 or so kids he has to help cross into that equation and its enough to make anyone nervous.

Especially after all the distracted drivers he encounters.

"I would see one out of every ten is on the phone or texting," he said.

Not only is it dangerous- its illegal.

As of 2009- anyone using their cellphone at a school zone while these lights are blinking can be fined hundreds of dollars.

The number of tickets issued in Abilene for that very violation has more than tripled in the last two years. 

Some parents admit its rather tempting while waiting the long lines to pick up kids at school.

"It's easy to think about when I was driving in here how many times I think, 'I'm just going to see what time it is, even just picking up the phone'," said Rose Mary Hollingsworth who was picking up her kids at Madison Middle School.

Buy the kids serve as a reminder.

"They just say just put it away mom, just put it away, like you don't need to pick up the phone to see what time it is so they teach me more than anything," she said.

Others don't tolerate it.

"I've told some ladies out here that have been doing it and they don't take it, they don't pay attention," said Pedro Guerra.

It's something Blankenship might appreciate as he takes that step off the curb- leading the tiny steps that quickly follow behind him. 

"Schools very important and you need to be observant and watch every corner," he said.

Because all it takes is that one distracted driver.

Authorities at the Texas department of transportation say just looking at your phone can hinder drivers by about five seconds.

At 55 mph, that's about the length of a football field. 
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