The law is constantly evolving in Louisiana in light of modern advances and technologies. Louisiana residents must familiarize themselves with the existing and new laws that may impact their daily life.
On August 1, 2013, a new law regarding the use of social media went into effect. Specifically, drivers are prohibited from using such sites as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Louisiana lawmakers appreciate that cell phones can be a help in emergency situations. However, phones and other devices can also cause an individual to be a negligent driver. Statistics actually show that a driver is 23 percent more likely to crash when texting while driving.
The new law essentially wants to ensure that any distractions posed by cell phone use are eliminated. Specifically, lawmakers want to protect against the fatal accidents that are caused by the distractions presented by mixing social media use and driving. To do so, the following penalties are now in place for those caught using social media while driving: a $175 fine, with additional offenses triggering fines up to $500.
While the new law just went into effect this month and some drivers may be unaware of it, ignorance of the law is not a defense in court proceedings. Thus, anyone involved in an accident that results in significant injury, medical expenses and pain and suffering or even a wrongful death, could attack a negligent driver who asserts such a defense.
The driver's unawareness of the new law is one way to demonstrate that he failed to observe his duty to other roadway users. This fact is an essential element of negligence suit and may make all the difference in a lawsuit.
Source: 710keel.com, "Louisiana Law Bans Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram While Driving," Danny Fox, Aug. 8, 2013