Over the last few years, the New Orleans area has seen a number of terrible auto accidents involving drivers who were sending text messages while driving. While the State of Louisiana began regulating this dangerous practice in 2008, the legislature recently has decided that the existing law did not go far enough to protect innocent drivers.
Under the existing law, texting while driving is what is referred to as a “secondary offense,” meaning that a police officer can issue a ticket for this practice only if the driver was pulled over for some other reason and was found to be texting.
If a driver is observed texting but not committing any other infractions, a police officer cannot pull that driver over.
On June 7, 2010, the Senate approved final changes to a bill, already passed by the House, that would make texting while driving a primary offense. This would allow police officers to pull over and ticket individuals spotted texting while driving regardless of whether they were committing any other offenses.
The new law, if not vetoed by the governor, will take effect August 15, 2010.
Hopefully, these new regulations will reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths caused by texting drivers.
If you have been injured by an individual who was operating his or her vehicle while distracted and you need advice, please feel free to call our office at 877-581-6411. We would be happy to help you.