LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Texting and driving is a dangerous habit that law enforcement officials in Southwest Louisiana are ready to put an end to.
On August 15th, a law banning texting and driving will go into effect that will take a big step in doing just that.
For now texting is a secondary offense, but that doesn't mean you can't get in trouble for doing it.
"We can almost always find something that's related to the texting and driving, whether it's driving off of the road, running over the fog line, running over the center line, because you're so distracted in texting while driving that you're not paying attention while driving," said Sgt. James Anderson with the Louisiana State Police.
Once August 15th gets here, you can expect to pay for it if you're caught texting behind the wheel, as it will become a primary offense.
"If we see you texting and driving, that's all the probable cause we need to stop you. For a first offense it's 175 dollar fine, for second and subsequent offenses, it's a 500 dollar fine," said Anderson.
State troopers will also be learning ways to identify if someone is texting, even if their driving is not yet erratic.
"There are a variety of methods that we can use. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration provides us with tips on how we can enforce this. I'd rather not go into detail on these methods, but we'll be employing some new methods in an effort to catch people who are texting and driving," said Anderson.
It is also important to remember that any mobile device that could distract you from driving is now banned, the law is not only limited to cell phones.
With this new law on the horizon, the time is now to get your eyes onto the road.
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