BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's ban on text messaging while driving gets tougher in August.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law a bill that makes texting while driving a primary offense, meaning that police officers can stop a driver for that traffic violation without needing another reason. Minors 17 and under can be stopped simply for using a cell phone.
The change takes effect Aug. 15. Before that, a driver can only be cited for texting while driving if a police officer stops the driver for another alleged violation.
Penalties for sending text messages while behind the wheel - with an exception for emergencies - can reach up to $175 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses.
Senate Bill 9 can be found at http://www.legis.state.la.us