Texting and driving is against the law in Louisiana. It is a primary offense. That means police officers can pull a driver over simply for driving while sending text messages or looking at a cellphone.
The fines are not cheap for breaking this law: $175 for first offenders and $500 for repeat offenders, with even higher fines for drivers under 18. However, according to a recent article in the Times-Picayune, State Senator Yvonne Colomb has introduced a bill that could raise fines even higher.
$500 Fines For First Offenders
The new bill would call for $500 fines for first offenders and $1000 fines for subsequent offenses. The reason for the increase? Texting and driving accidents are still a serious problem in New Orleans and throughout the state.
There have already been more than 30,000 car wrecks this year, according to the Louisiana State University's Highway Safety Research Group. Of those, 324 were reportedly caused by a driver who was either texting and driving or distracted by some other electronic device. Nearly half of those resulted in injuries.
Distracted Driving Accident Victims Can Seek Compensation
People who have been hurt by a driver who was texting while behind the wheel may take little consolation in the increase in fines. Thankfully, there is recourse available to them. They may be able to file a personal injury claim to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs. Attorney James Arruebarrena offers free case evaluations in texting and driving accident cases.