Bill increasing fines for texting and driving heads to governor's desk

Bill increasing fines for texting and driving heads to governor's desk

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A bill that would raise the fines for drivers caught texting while driving in Louisiana is on its way to the governor's desk.

Getting caught texting while driving could soon cost violators nearly triple the amount it does right now, and that's just for the first offense. While the proposed ticket price may be steep, drivers say texting and driving is a concern.

"Oh yeah, on the intestate people are swerving lanes because they are too busy texting," driver Joey Endler said.

A texting while driving fine will cost violators up to $175, but legislation already approved by the state House and Senate would increase those fines to $500 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for the second offense.

Also included in the measure, drivers under 18 in violation could face license suspension for up to 60 days after the first offense.

Head of the Causeway Bridge, Carlton Dufrechou, said he is all for higher fines if it will help keep drivers safe.

Last year there were 175 crashes on the bridge, and of those, 65 involved drivers who rear ended cars that had broken down

"That tells me, those people that rear ended cars broken down, had their heads down, whether texting or cloud 9, we don't know," Dufrechou said.

The national safety council said texting and driving causes 1.6 million accidents a year, and eleven teen deaths every day.

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