Louisiana recently increased the amount drivers can be fined for texting and driving. In an attempt to making driving safer in our state, Senate Bill 91 was passed and signed by the governor. Drivers who are caught using their mobile phones while driving face steeper fines and temporary driver’s license suspension. Here is what you should know about the recent changes to Louisiana’s texting and driving fines.
Fines have increased for adult drivers: Under the old law, first time violators received fines of $175. The new law increases fines for first time offenders to $500! Second-time offenders will also face increased fines. The new law increases fines for second time offenses to $1000, instead of $500 under the old law.
Fines have increased for teenage drivers: Penalties for drivers under 18 have increased to $250 for first time offenses and $500 for additional offenses. Teenage drivers under 18 can also have their licenses suspended for 60 days for multiple offenses. Under the old law, drivers in this age group were fined $100 for first time offenses and $250 for subsequent offenses.
Fines have increased for texting and driving in school zones: Under the new law, people texting and driving in school zones will receive $500 for first time violations and $1,000 for additional violations. Additional violations can result in a 60-day license suspension regardless of age.
Texting and driving is a primary law in Louisiana, meaning law enforcement officers can pull over drivers they witness using smart phones.
Distracted Driving is Responsible for Thousands of Car Accidents in Louisiana
According to Louisiana State University’s Highway Safety Research Group, as of June 20th, 2016, mobile phone use while driving has been responsible for 1,012 accidents in Louisiana this year. When we take into account other types of distracted driving, such as talking with other passengers or being distracted by radios or other devices, this number increases to more than 6,000.
States across the country are desperate to reduce distracted driving accidents. Increased penalties and public awareness campaigns might be successful in accomplishing this goal.