In Louisiana, there is a statewide ban of texting and driving for drivers of all ages. This includes reading, writing, and sending text based messages from an electronic device. There are no statewide laws against using a cell phone while driving for any driver who holds a regular license and is over the age of 18. This includes both handheld and hands free devices.
Drivers under the age of 18, as well as those with a learner’s or intermediate permit, are not allowed to use cell phones at all while they drive. This includes both handheld and hands free devices. If you are caught using your phone to make calls, text, or for other reasons, you may get pulled over and fines may be imposed.
Louisiana has specific laws regarding the use of cellphones in school zones. Anyone who drives through a school zone during posted hours are not allowed to use their cell phones at all, which includes making a phone call, texting, or networking. There are exceptions to this rule.
Exceptions to the school zone cell phone ban
- You are parked legally
- You operate an emergency vehicle need to use a cell phone to do your job
- If you need to report a criminal act
- Your safety is at risk
- If you need to report an emergency
A police officer can pull you over for text messaging, even if you committed no other violation. If you get pulled over, you may receive a ticket that will have fine attached to it.
Fines for texting while driving
- First offense is $175
- After the first offense it is $500
In 2013, there were 3,154 people killed in motor vehicle accidents that were caused due to driving distracted. This is almost a seven percent decrease in fatalities since 2012. Yet, in 2013, 424,000 people were injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers. This number is up from 421,000 in 2012. More and more states are cracking down on texting and driving because car accidents and fatalities are such a big problem in the United States.
Texting and driving is illegal for drivers of all ages in Louisiana. If you need to send a text, do so before you enter the vehicle or after you get to your destination. This is not only for your safety, but for the safety of those around you.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Louisiana and was authored by Valerie Johnston.