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Whether you want to admit it or not, we all drive a lot better when we aren't fiddling with our phones.  You're better off putting your phone on Bluetooth so you can utilize the hands-free option that just about every vehicle comes with these days, or better still - just put it on silent so you can focus on the road.  Unfortunately, that wisdom goes right over most people's heads.  According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving (that's driving while looking at your phone) accounts for 1.6 million crashes each year - that's about 1 in every 4 accidents!

To fight this threat head on, State Representative Mike Huval from Beaux Bridge has introduced a bill (HB 565) that would make driving with your phone in your hand for any reason against the law.  Huval had his time in front of the House Transportation Highways, and Public Works Committee yesterday to explain why Louisiana needs this law - and they unanimously agreed with zero objections.  The actual wording of the bill states: "...no person shall operate any wireless telecommunications device while operating a motor vehicle upon any public road or highway."

The bill has a few more hurdles to clear on its way to becoming the law of the land.  If that happens relatively soon, drivers who break the rule will be issued a warning.  That "grace period" would end on January 1st of 2022.  After that, first-time offenders will be issued a $100 fine or receive up to 15 hours of community service.  By your third offense, you'd be looking at a hefty $300 fine or up to 60 hours of community service and suspension of your driver’s license for 30 days.

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