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Drivers in Louisiana may soon be prohibited from holding their cellphones when they drive.
Rep. Mike Huval’s (R-Breaux Bridge) House Bill 376, which would prohibit drivers from “holding or physically supporting a wireless telecommunications device in either or both hands or with any part of the body,” advanced out of a House committee Monday morning.
Currently, 24 states plus Washington, D.C. have made it against the law for drivers to use handheld cellphones. Huval said to the committee his bill doesn’t seek to stop people from using their phones in their cars but instead “promote safer driving.”
Drivers would be allowed to use bluetooth connections such as an earpiece, headphones or even a wrist-worn device to conduct phone calls.
If approved, the law would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
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Drivers caught using their phones will be fined up to $100 and receive up to 30 hours of community service on their first offense. On the second offense, maximum penalties increase to $300 and 30 hours of community service. For the third offense, the fine limit remains $300 but a judge can sentence an offender up to 90 hours of community service.
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Huval said the proposal is “basically the same bill” he introduced last year that passed in the House but died in the Senate.
The bill moves to the full House for a vote.
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