Is an in-car cell phone ban coming to Louisiana? According to a recent news report, it looks likely. Cell phone use behind the wheel is the cause of numerous motor vehicle accidents. This ban, if passed, could save lives and prevent injury.
Currently, Louisiana is ranked seventh in the United Stated for motor vehicle fatalities. Lawmakers see distracted driving as a significant contributor to that ranking. The proposal to ban in-car, hand-held cell phone use passed the House with more than the needed votes to move it on to the Senate for a final vote. If this proposal becomes law, it will become effective on Jan. 1, 2019.
What does this mean for those caught using their cell phones while driving? The first offense would be punishable by a fine of no more than $125. A second offense would garner a fine up to $250. Three or more offenses would be punishable by a fine of up to $250 and a license suspension.
Far too many Louisiana residents have suffered injuries or lost loved ones in accidents with distracted drivers. This move by state lawmakers is a good thing and may help prevent some motor vehicle accidents down the line. Those individuals who still end up getting hurt or losing family members to distracted drivers may have legal recourse. Personal injury, wrongful death or any other applicable claims may be filed in an effort to recover damages, whether they are economic or non-economic in nature -- such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
Source: wwl.com, "Louisiana ban on hand-held cell use while driving nears passage", May 10, 2018