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Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 22:11
EL PASO--- The City of El Paso is now accepting sign and monetary donations so a cell phone ban in school zones can be enforced, City leaders told KDBC 4 News Thursday.
Many local drivers don't know about a new state law banning talking and texting on cell phones in school zones.
That's because there are no signs posted; signs the City can't afford to make and post yet.
"Maybe the law was thrown on them and they didn't have the budget for it, but if somebody's willing to donate and do something about it, then take advantage of it," said Nathan Gonzales, a father of two and owner of "Signs Brothers" in far East El Paso.
When he heard the City would need up to three years to get the signs up, Gonzales offered to donate signs at three schools last week.
It wasn't until after KDBC 4 News spoke to the City Traffic Engineering Dept. that Gonzales received the specifications to make the signs.
"So we want to make sure they're all uniform and they all look alike and the public has confidence that they're an official sign," said Ted Marquez from the Traffic Engineering Dept. "We have to meet minimum requirements on signs. The type, the reflectivity, the location, the the height of the signs, the clearance under the signs."
The specifications of the signs will be made available to all interested El Pasoans, but Marquez says they need to do some of their own homework before starting to make these signs.
"Look at the number of signs surrounding the whole school. And then if they want to adopt a school, we will replace all of the signs if they make a sign donation or a monetary donation to cover the whole school," said Marquez.
You can contact the City of El Paso Engineering Dept. At 541-4050 to get those specifications.
All money should be directed to the City of El Paso.
While the office prefers money donations, Marquez says those who make the signs, then get them approved by the City, ca speed up the process.
So signs can go up quicker and students can be safer, sooner.
As for Gonzales, now that he has the specifications, he plans to order the materials for his three schools as soon as Friday.