Cellphone violations in Texas school zones are costly

John Egan

It pays not to talk on your handheld cellphone in a school zone in Texas.

The average fine for a motorist caught using a handheld cellphone in a Texas school zone is $235, according to an Allstate survey of 80 cities across the state. The highest fine is $327 in Corpus Christi, Frisco, New Braunfels and Pearland.

Other cellphone fines reported in the Allstate survey are:

• Austin -- $326. • Alice -- $322. • La Porte -- $322. • Tomball -- $322. • San Marcos -- $303. • Midland -- $297.

Meanwhile, the average cost of a ticket for a driver who exceeds the speed limit by 10 miles per hour in a Texas school zone is $216, the Allstate survey shows. The highest ticket in that category is $312 in Huntsville.

Other fines for going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in a school zone are:

• College Station -- $310. • Alice -- $305. • Bryan -- $285. • Mesquite -- $275. • Kerrville -- $272. • Shenandoah -- $272. • Lewisville -- $266. • Bellaire -- $250. • Brownsville -- $250. • Denton -- $250. • Houston -- $250.

A total of 80 Texas police departments or municipal courts responded to the Allstate survey by phone or email between July 25 and Aug. 8, 2011. Fines also were tracked using official city websites.

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