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Louisiana Texting While Driving Laws Get New Addition

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BFS Man, Flickr

It’s been illegal to text and drive in Louisiana, but Governor Bobby Jindal has signed a bill that will make using social media while driving illegal.

The law looks to close a loophole in the state law where drivers were getting out of texting-and-driving tickets because they argued they were using Facebook or Twitter while they were driving and thus were not breaking the law.

But as of August 1st, that will change as this new legislation takes effect.

Eleven states ban all hand-held use of cell phones while driving.  That means no texting, no social media, no taking photos, no dialing.  If you want to use your phone while driving, you need a hands-free mechanism, like Bluetooth.

No state bans all cell phone use, but 37 states ban all use for new drivers, including Louisiana.  The Pelican State is also among 19 states that ban all cell phone use by school bus drivers.

There are only nine states that do not ban texting and driving.  Those states are:

  • Arizona
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas

All of the above states with the exception of Arizona, Montana, and South Carolina have texting bans only on new drivers.

Louisiana bans all texting (which will officially include social media August 1st) while driving, all cell phone use by novice drivers, and cell phone use by bus drivers.  Otherwise, drivers are legally free to use their phones while driving, however be reminded of the dangers of distracted driving.

Many localities may pass their own bans, but seven states prevent localities from passing their own laws.  One of those states is the great State of Louisiana.

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