LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)– Louisiana lawmakers are advancing House Bill 565 which would ban all handheld cellphone use while driving.
Violators of the ban would face a fine of up to $100 on a first offense, $300 on a second, and $300 plus a license suspension on the third offense. The bill is heading to the senate and awaiting approval.
Some drivers in Lafayette doesn’t think that this law is needed.
“I can still drive with one hand, you know. As long as I’m not on it. You shouldn’t be worried about it,” Tylon Gallien, a driver in Lafayette, said.
Dayne Huval, the CEO of Southwest Training Safety, said the law is needed.
“People have to remember when you’re talking on the phone, there’s a cognitive disconnect between your attention on the, on the conversation, compared to your attention on the road,” Huval said.
Southwest Training Safety is a driving school and Huval said that accidents can happen faster than you think, so it’s best to keep your eyes on the road.
“If you’re looking at an object for four seconds and you’re on the interstate, you travel 400 feet without looking anywhere else. You know that’s greater than a football field,” Huval said.
Rep. Mike Huval (R) of Breaux Bridge created the bill. He said that he has been trying to get this bill passed for years.
“People actually facetime now so instead of looking at the road and speaking, you’re actually looking at the phone because you want the person that you’re speaking with to see you,” Huval said.
According to the House representative, 24 states in the U.S. has already passed this bill.
“Fatality rates, and their accident rates have gone down, so it has, it is helping,” Huval said.
Drivers will still be able to use navigation or make calls through bluetooth, speakerphone and earpieces.
“We should have less fatalities because of this, because people who abide by the law will now be looking ahead, instead of looking to the side to view, facetime or to check their emails, or whatever other things that are available now on a cell phone. It is just to bring that safety back to our roads,” Huval said.
There will be exceptions to the ban for law enforcement and firefighters while on duty. If approved, the law could go into effect as soon as next year.
Written by Gabrielle Riles