This year, a new law has gone into effect in the Beekman Charter school zone prohibiting the use of telecommunications devices near the school. The law, RS 32:300.8, states that it is illegal to use a phone in any capacity in a school zone during the posted hours. This includes texting, calling, or posting to social media. First-time violators will be fined up to $175 and further violations will be punishable with a fine of up to $500. If the violation results in a collision the fine will be doubled. Use of hands-free devices is permitted. Signs indicating a hands-free zone are now posted below the school-zone hour signs. “We wanted to give everyone fair warning before this goes into effect,” said officer Randall Carol. Officers will be handing out tickets soon.