The Louisiana Legislature’s 2011 Regular Session convened on April 25. In the midst of this fiscal session, the Legislature introduced three new state-wide bills relative to distracted driving, including a potential ban on the use of handheld cell phones in automobiles. Last session, Governor Jindal signed into a law a ban on texting while driving. This ban designates texting while operating a motor vehicle a primary offense and permits officers to stop drivers to issue fines for violating the law.
The new bills introduced this session reflect a nationwide trend to stop distracted driving in America. First, House Bill 337 requires drivers to use a “hands-free device” when talking on a cell phone in a vehicle. If found violating the law, drivers may face significant fines. Second, House Bill 338 seeks to prohibit drivers from using handheld wireless telecommunication devices, including computers. A violation would result in a $125 fine. Last, House Bill 387 purports to strike and replace an existing state law that only permits the use of video screens in a vehicle if the screen is located behind the driver’s seat. This new legislation permits a split-screen in the front seat, as long as the split-screen is not visible to the driver.
Recent studies suggest that distracted driving is equivalent to drunk driving, often resulting in tragic accidents and injuries that could have been avoided. Across the United States, states continue to crack down on the use of electronic devices in motor vehicles. Last month alone, a Massachusetts teenager and a Minnesota mom were criminally charged after their texting while driving resulted in serious accidents causing significant injury. In addition to criminal charges, individuals who cause damage when texting while operating a motor vehicle may also face civil damages, including tort liability.
If you or a loved one suffered injury from an accident caused by an individual believed to be texting while driving at the time of a collision, you may have legal rights. Broussard, David & Moroux offers skilled personal injury attorneys with vast experience in automobile cases involving serious injury or death. For questions, contact Broussard, David & Moroux at 888-337-2323(toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local).