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Speed in a Texas School Zone--Face Fines Up to $315

Tickets for Cell Phone Use in a School Zone Top $327, Survey Finds

IRVING, Texas, Aug. 17 -- Get caught speeding in a Texas school zone and expect to pay an average of $211, according to a new survey by Allstate Insurance. The company recently surveyed 80 police departments and municipal courts across the state to find out the average cost of a speeding ticket in a Texas school zone for driving 10 miles per hour over the limit.

Allstate conducted the survey to remind drivers to slow down and pay attention in school zones, especially as many students in Texas head back to class next week.

The survey found the highest fines for school zone speeders in Huntsville, College Station and Alice:

                                   Average fine for speeding 10 mph over
  City                                      limit in school zone
  Huntsville                                                         $312
  College Station                                                    $305
  Alice                                                              $305
  Conroe                                                             $276
  Mesquite                                                           $275
  Garland                                                            $274
  Kerrville, Shenandoah                                              $272
  Lewisville                                                         $266
  Laredo                                                             $254
  New Braunfels                                                      $253
  -------------                                                      ----
  Brownsville, Houston and
   Denton                                                            $250
  ------------------------                                           ----

On the other end of the spectrum, school zone speeders in Lufkin and Texas City face fines around $150.

"No matter how high or low the fines are in a city, they are in place to protect our kids and save lives," said Jerry Anderson, an Allstate agent in College Station. "Hopefully, any fine is enough to make drivers slow down and think."

Cell Phone Violations in Texas School Zones Top $327

Police are looking for more than just speeders in school zones. Drivers caught violating the year-old Texas law prohibiting cell phone use in a school zone, without a hands-free device, can end up paying as much as $327 in some cities.

The surveyed Texas cities docking drivers the most for violating the cell phone, school zone law are:

                                      Average fine for using a wireless
  City                                    device  in a school zone
  Corpus Christi                                                     $327
  Frisco                                                             $327
  New Braunfels                                                      $327
  Pearland                                                           $327
  Alice                                                              $322
  Tomball                                                            $322
  Huntsville                                                         $315
  San Marcos                                                         $303
  ----------                                                         ----
  La Porte                                                           $297
  Midland                                                            $297
  -------                                                            ----

"Drivers talking and texting on cell phones in school zones were the biggest concerns police reported in the survey next to speeding," Anderson said. "That's especially troubling because studies have shown driving distractions cause at least a quarter of all reported accidents."

  Three Back to School Traffic Safety Tips
  Allstate recommends the following road rules for back to school:
  1. Drive slowly in school zones. Watch for children in the road and always
     obey crossing guards.
  2. Put down your phone, breakfast, make-up, etc. and focus on driving.
  3. Be alert and patient around school buses and bus stops.

  Surveyed Cities

Allstate's 2010 back to school safety survey was conducted in the following Texas cities and/or surrounding areas:

  --  Abilene
  --  Amarillo
  --  Austin
  --  Beaumont
  --  Brownsville-Harlingen-McAllen
  --  Bryan-College Station
  --  Corpus Christi
  --  Dallas-Fort Worth
  --  El Paso
  --  Houston
  --  Laredo
  --  Lubbock
  --  Midland-Odessa
  --  San Angelo
  --  San Antonio
  --  Sherman
  --  Texarkana
  --  Tyler-Longview
  --  Victoria
  --  Waco-Temple-Killeen
  --  Wichita Falls

A total of 80 Texas police departments and/or municipal courts responded to the survey via phone or e-mail between August 4 and August 13, 2010. Fines were also tracked using official city Web sites.

The Allstate Corporation is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help more than 17 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via and 1-800 Allstate®.