State lawmaker's bill bans using hand-held devices while driving - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

State lawmaker's bill bans using hand-held devices while driving

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Louisiana is in the top ten deadliest states for drivers. According to law enforcement, distracted driving is one of the main reasons for the accidents.

Almost everyone has done it or has been affected by it: driving while distracted.

Distracted driving has been steadily increasing across the United States. Although many states have laws against it, almost half a million people say they've been on their phones while driving on a daily basis.

Louisiana State Police say it's an issue. "We look at the causes of vehicle crashes and distracted or inattentive drivings leads the list so it's definitely a problem," says Sergeant James Anderson with the Louisiana State Police.

There are several distracted driving laws in the state, such as laws preventing people from texting and driving & posting to social media. As of right now, there is no statewide hand-held ban. One lawmaker, Representative Mike Huval, is trying to change that.

His bill will ban manually using your phone while driving in any way, such as making or receiving a phone call.

There are exceptions though.

"This does not keep you from using your phone if you have Bluetooth accessibility or if you have wireless earphones to your phone," says Representative Huval.

His bill is currently advancing in the Louisiana legislature.

Driving schools across the state, like Keys 4 Safe Driving School, are already teaching students to not drive distracted and characteristics of how to be a defensive driver.

"They need to learn to be defensive because it will actually help keep crash rates down." says Administrative assistant Jasmine James. 

If the bill is passed, Louisianans can expect it to go into effect January 1 of next year.

Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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