Texting while driving is never a good idea.
Unfortunately, it happens more often than we’d like to believe – resulting in countless injuries and even fatalities each year. With more and more drivers opting to use their handheld devices while driving, states across the country are implementing harsher traffic laws as a means to end this dangerous habit.
Louisiana is no exception.
Please know, if you are texting while driving in Louisiana, there are hefty fines and subsequent fines in place to deter and hopefully end this dangerous habit. These fines are a part of Louisiana’s Distracted Driving Laws. As time passes, these laws and penalties will likely grow in size, as Louisiana and other states work to keep people focused on the road when they drive.
If you’ve been involved in an accident that occured while someone was texting while driving, you may need help with legal representation to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our team at the Jones Law Firm in Alexandria is here to help.
Texting while driving is considered unsafe per Louisiana's Distracted Driving Laws
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission views distracted driving as any activity that takes someone’s mind, hands, or eyes off of the road.
Naturally, texting while driving falls under this description, so handheld cellphone use is strongly discouraged. As such, you can not do any of the following while driving:
- send text messages,
- check social media,
- post to social media, or
- use a cell phone within a school zone.
Plus, depending on your age, you may not be permitted to use any wireless device within a vehicle, even if you are in a hands-free mode.
Louisiana has substantial penalties for texting while driving for drivers of all ages
While the initial fines Louisiana used to charge for texting and driving were between $175-$500, they have since increased.
Now, if you use a cell phone to read a text message, send a text message, or check or post to social media while operating your vehicle, you can face a fine of up to $500 for the first offense. After that, you will receive up to a $1000 fine for each subsequent offense.
Note that if you are 18 or under, you cannot speak or text on a cell phone while you drive. If you do, you can receive a $250 fine for your first offense. Additional violations can result in a suspended license for up to 60 days and a $500 fine (which doubles if your cell phone usage was the cause of an accident).
There are some rare exceptions for using a cell phone while driving in Louisiana
Though Louisiana’s Distracted Driving Laws and penalties are strict, there are rare circumstances for which cell phone use is allowed.
- You are permitted to use your cell phone if you are reporting an emergency, such as a traffic hazard, accident, fire, or personal safety hazard.
- You are also allowed to use your cell phone to report criminal activity or enact a GPS.
- If you are operating an emergency vehicle and have to use your cell phone to fulfill your responsibilities (such as an EMT, firefighter, or police officer), that is also permitted.
- Know that it is OK to use your phone if your car is parked legally as well – the law only applies if you are operating your vehicle.
Texting While Driving May Result in the Need for Legal Representation
If you receive an injury resulting from an accident with someone who was texting and driving, it is best to obtain legal representation. Here at The Jones Law Firm, we have helped countless drivers in Alexandria, Louisiana, receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a consultation. We will go over your situation in detail, providing you with the very best guidance and support.