Louisiana, like many states, bans motorists from texting while driving. Frequently called “distracted driver laws,” these rules ban the use of cell phones and other devices for sending or receiving text messages. Recent amendments to the rules let police pull drivers over for just texting without any other violation. Many people may be surprised to find out that the penalty for a first offense is $175 with each additional violation costing $500 plus court costs.
Some states are more aggressive than others in enforcing anti-texting rules. Tennessee recently sent police out in big rigs to scope out motorists in the act of texting. No details were given as to the number of arrests, but the Tennessee police felt the big rigs gave the height to catch texting drivers.
Other states are reportedly using teams of officers with a lookout on overpasses and chase cars running down texting motorists. It is not clear id Louisiana is handling matters this aggressively, but Federal dollars are being sent to enforce anti-texting efforts.
On the civil side, a New Jersey court recently held that the sender of a text could possibly be held responsible for a wreck, if he knew the recipient was driving at the time. It seems the trend is to aggressively punish people who text and drive, so think twice before sending that next text.
Written by Greg Gouner