I just had our transporation supervisor ask about the new TRC 545.425 (SB 1257)prohibiting bus drivers from operating a "wireless communication device" with a minor passenger. Is a "standard" 2-way radio a "wireless communication device" for the purpose of that statute?
I can't find a definition in the TX statutes for this term, nor can I find a good single definition on web for the term. I did find several definitions on web that seem to limit the term to only those devices that transmit "data" or "packets of data," but then I also found definitions which make no such limitations.
I can't find a definition in the TX statutes for this term. Any guidance is appreciated.
When I read the bill, I thought the purpose was to keep bus drivers from yakking on their cell phones while they had passengers - but it looks like the rather inartful language would also prohibit the use of the 2-way radios that many districts commonly use for "official" purposes. So it appears that the other law involved here is the law of unintended consequences. Of course, this will only be a problem if the officers in your jurisdiction actually issue citations to drivers using their 2-way radios - not likely to occur. But the "correct" answer for the transportation supervisor is probably that the law applies to any wireless communication device - cell phone, blackberry, ham radio, (mouth? ears?).
Just tell your transportation mgt. to go out to their storage bin and recycle those old "Do not talk to Driver" signs they used to have posted!
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