- Associated Press - Thursday, February 27, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska House Community and Regional Affairs Committee unanimously moved a bill Thursday that would allow municipalities to ban cellphones in school zones and on school property.

Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, sponsored the bill allowing school districts discretion for setting up rules regarding cellphone use in and around schools and school zones for public safety. The committee moved the bill Thursday.

“The Anchorage Assembly worked on this for a long time before realizing there needs to an enabling act from the state Legislature allowing them to do this,” Meyer said.

Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, suggested that parked cars be exempted because many parents park their cars near schools and call or text their children for pickup after school.


Reinbold’s request was attached as a note to the bill.

Rep. Bob Herron, D-Bethel, asked how municipalities could realistically enforce such a measure.

Meyer said crossing guards have told him they are able to go up to honest parents and ask them to turn off their cellphones while in a school zone and they will comply.

“I don’t like to tell people how to live their lives,” said Meyer. “But in this case, we’re not setting the law here.”

The bill goes to the House Judiciary Committee.