Hands On Wheel

Despite a new, stiffer law against using cellular telephones or other electronic devices while driving in West Virginia, the practice still remains common. Unfortunately, it is not unusual to see motorists chatting away or texting on their phones every day despite the practice now being illegal.

That is dangerous enough in normal traffic. But within the next few weeks, school buses will be back on area roads and streets. More children will be on sidewalks and crossing streets near schools.

School officials are worried about that. Last week, the state Department of Education appealed to the public to obey traffic laws involving school buses and school zones-and especially to avoid distracted driving such as that resulting from illegal use of cell phones by motorists.

Most West Virginians will heed that plea. Police and sheriff’s departments should be on the lookout for those who don’t-and come down hard on them.

Hands-free driving isn’t just a suggestion. It is the law.