Is Texting and Driving Legal?

texting-and-drivingThere are a lot of rumors about the laws surrounding Texting and Driving. We have all heard peoples’ interpretations and opinions of what is okay to do. For example, if you are stopped at a red light, it’s okay to text or holding the phone on the steering wheel and drive texting is okay. To add to these opinions is what all drivers see on the road…people are definitely texting and driving.

When drivers hit a red light, especially a long one like the one located at Clearview and Vets, many people reach for their phones and start responding to text message or checking their emails or Facebook. They do not pay attention to the road and the changing lights and end up receiving the “Pay Attention” to the road honk.

According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, texting and driving is not allowed and you will receive a fine if you are caught. Below are the actual Traffic Safety Laws for Louisiana drivers:

Cell Phones – New drivers (R.S. 32:300.6) – limits those driving with a Class “E” learner’s permit or an intermediate license to use of a “hands free” cell phone. This is a moving violation, but is a secondary offense and may not be the sole reason for the stop. True emergencies are excepted. First offense fine max is $175; subsequent violations – up to $500. If using the hands on phone and driving when a crash occurs the above fines may be doubled.

Cell Phones – Minors (R.S. 32:300.7) – Those driver’s under 17 may not lawfully use any wireless communications device to send or receive a call or send or read a text while driving. Certain emergencies are excepted. This is a primary offense and a moving violation. Max fine is $100 for first offense; $200 for subsequent offenses and double if a crash is involved.

Texting while driving (R.S. 32:300.5) – No person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write ,send, or read a text–based communication. It is a moving violation and a primary offense. The first violation is punishable by a $175 fine. Each subsequent violation is punishable by a $500 fine. Navigation with a global positioning system and use during emergencies are allowed.

Have you ever seen someone driving with headsets on? Did you know that this is illegal too? Below is the actual Louisiana Law for driving with headsets:

Driving with headsets on (R.S. 32:295.2) – Prohibits the wearing of headphones by any operator of a motor vehicle. “Headphones” are defined as a headset, headphone, or listening device other than a hearing aid , which covers or is inserted in both ears. Law enforcement and certain motorcycle helmets are exempted from enforcement. The penalty is a $25 fine plus court costs.

In general, if you want to use your cell phone while driving, use hands free texting and talking. If this function is not available for your vehicle or phone, just wait to text or talk when it is a safer time.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving From Supreme Muffler.