Distracted driving has become a common cause of car accidents in Louisiana. It is already illegal for drivers to text behind the wheel but the state recently passed a new law that will hopefully prevent more distracted driving accidents in the future. The new law, which went into effect in the beginning of August, bans drivers from accessing social media sites on their cellphones while they drive.
The new law prohibits drivers from using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter on their cellphones while driving. It is illegal for drivers to access, read or post on websites on their cellphone. The law was passed to address the new technology drivers are using on their cellphones and to keep drivers from becoming distracted.
Louisiana State Police said they will be enforcing the new law in addition to cracking down on individuals who text behind the wheel. Drivers who violate the new law and access social websites on their phones while driving will receive a traffic citation with a fine up to $175 for their first offense. Drivers who receive additional citations may receive a $500 fine. Both of these fines are the same penalties that are enforced for drivers who text behind the wheel.
In addition to the police cracking down on drivers they see using their cellphones to text or access social media, the Louisiana State Police said they will continue to subpoena cellphone records after serious and fatal car accidents to see if the driver was texting or using their cellphone before or at the time of the crash. Drivers who were using their cellphones before or during a car accident could face criminal charges depending on the severity of the crash.
Cellphone use and the use of new technology creates serious risks for everyone on the road in Louisiana. Drivers should adhere to traffic laws banning cellphone use for their own safety and for the safety of everyone riding or walking on the road.