It May Soon Be Illegal To Hold Your Phone While Driving
Posted on Jun 13, 2019 in Personal Injury, Traffic
A new bill advancing through the Louisiana legislature would make it illegal to hold your cell phone while driving. The legislation is intended to make driving safer for everyone by cutting down on distracted driving.
In Louisiana, it is already illegal to text and drive. However, for law enforcement this can sometimes be difficult to properly enforce. The proposed ban would help police more effectively combat distracted driving by cutting out some of the legal grey area.
Under the proposed ban, drivers caught using their phone while operating a vehicle would be made to serve community service, or pay a $100 fine for the first offense. Second and third offenses would carry fines of $200 and $300 respectively.
How Dangerous Is Distracted Driving?
With the rise in the usage of cellphones in nearly every aspect of our lives, distracted driving has become a serious threat to safety on the road. A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that in 2015 3,477 people died in accidents in which distracted driving played a part. Nearly 400,000 were injured.
Nearly 14% of all crashes reported in 2015 involved distracted driving. According to the data, teenagers were most likely to be involved in fatal car accidents where they reported as driving distracted. This is a serious issue that is taking the lives of young people. However, it’s not only teenagers who are put at risk by distracted driving.
Like drunk driving, driving distracted puts not only yourself and your passengers in danger, but everyone else on the roadway or in the vicinity as well. Unfortunately, pedestrians and bicyclists are too often the victim of distracted drivers.
No message or social media post is worth more than your life, wellbeing, or the lives of others. Always stay focused on the road and aware of your surroundings when driving. Your phone and messages will still be there when you arrive at your destination. If you absolutely need to view or respond to a message while driving, pull over first.
What Are the Penalties In Louisiana For Texting and Driving?
Texting and driving has been illegal in Louisiana since 2008. In recent years, the penalties for this offense were increased.
The fine for a first time texting while driving offense is $500. Subsequent offenses will garner $1000 fines.
It’s Also Illegal To Use Social Media While Driving
A lot of people don’t know this, but texting is not the only thing that can get you in trouble while driving.
In Louisiana it’s also illegal to use social media while operating a vehicle. Even if you think you’re just harmlessly scrolling through Instagram at a red light, you’re compromising your attention for what’s going on around you—and you’re breaking the law. Again, when you’re driving a car, nothing should ever be more important than making sure you get yourself and your passengers where you need to go as safely as possible.
The law also prohibits:
- The use of a phone, computer, or tablet while driving in a school zone
- For individuals under 18, it is illegal to use any kind of wireless device while driving for any reason whatsoever
- Minors caught using their phones while driving may also have their licenses suspended
What To Do If You Have Been Involved In An Accident
At Bloom Legal, we believe in a safer future for drivers, pedestrians, bikers, and everyone on the roads. We always encourage you to drive safely and responsibly. However, we know that sometimes even the safest drivers make mistakes and unfortunately accidents happen.
If you have been involved in an accident, we can help. Our personal injury attorneys will make sure you get the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve for your injuries so that you can get your life back on track as quickly and painlessly as possible.