April 9, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson
How often do you use your cell phone? For many people it is common place and that includes while they are behind the wheel driving. This is an activity the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission wants to see stopped. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has one goal; that is to reduce the number of traffic related injuries and deaths in Louisiana. This goal may sound pretty straight forward, but accomplishing it may ruffle a few feathers, especially with some cell phone owners.
James Champagne with the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission said, "It is a full time commitment to travel on the roads of Louisiana. We can not be doing other things." Champagne is not talking about dealing with the air conditioner, radio, stop lights, signs, or even looking out for other drivers when you are driving. He is talking about those people that talk on cell phones while driving. Champagne said, "I think we need to pass a law that outlaws it."
California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia prohibit handheld cell phones while driving, but no state has banned hands free cell phone use completely. If any laws prohibiting cell phones while driving in the Bayou State will be adopted remains to be scene. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has plans to push for new cell phone laws in Louisiana during the next state legislative session. Champagne said, "Just last year 17 people lost their lives in traffic crashes at the very time they were talking on the cell phone."