Distracted driving is consistently one of the most talked about traffic safety issues all across the country. Texting and driving is a major cause for concern with the increased use of cell phones. According to the National Safety Council, texting and driving is responsible for 1.6 million motor vehicle accidents each year. Young people, particularly teens, are especially at risk. Statistics show that eleven teens are killed in texting and driving accidents every day.
A bill was recently approved by the Louisiana state House and Senate with the goal of putting an end to texting and driving accidents. The bill will increase fines for texting and driving statewide. Currently drivers could be fined up to $175, but with the new bill, that amount will increase to $500 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for a second offense. Teen drivers under the age of 18 face additional consequences. First time offenders could face a license suspension of up to 60 days. State officials believe that the new bill will reduce the number of devastating accidents on the Louisiana roadways
Serious injuries and death occur frequently in distracted driving accidents. With so many people suffering at the hands of distracted drivers, state officials hope that the new bill will encourage drivers to focus more on their driving and less on their phones, while behind the wheel.
Regardless of whether the new bill becomes law, however, Louisiana drivers should not text and drive; this is true for drivers of all ages. Texting and driving is not only illegal, but if a person does so and causes an accident, they will face civil liability for any accident-related damages to other people.
Source: 12 KSLA News, “Bill increasing fines for texting and driving heads to governor’s desk,” May 31, 2016