Sunday: No texting while driving OFFICIAL and more

Undated(KSLA)- If you are one of those drivers that texts and drives then you need to watch out. The Louisiana "texting while driving" law will go into effect this Sunday August 15, 2010.  That's not the only legislation that will go into effect, but many other public safety laws will be enforced starting this Sunday. Many of these new laws include cell phone use for drivers under 17, expanding drug free zones, concealed handguns on school campuses, sexting and cyberbullying.

The laws going into effect are:

ACT 203, makes text messaging, using a wireless communication device while driving a motor vehicle, a primary offense for all Louisiana drivers.  The new law also prohibits persons 17 years of age or younger to operate a motor vehicle while using any "wireless telecommunications device".  A wireless communication device includes cell phones, PDAs, laptops, pagers and similar communication devices. Under the new legislation, law enforcement officers may initiate a traffic stop for these offenses alone.*

ACT 813, allows persons riding bicycles upon a roadway with an improved shoulder, the option of riding on that improved shoulder rather than in the lane of travel.  The new law also states that every bicycle, when in use at nighttime on a state highway, parish road, or city street, must be equipped with a rear lamp that emits a red flashing light or a red light sufficient to be seen from within 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear. It also requires the use of a front headlamp at night.

ACT 618, now requires driver's education courses to include information on sharing the road with pedestrians, bicyclists and transit vehicles.

ACT 810 & ACT 565, now makes synthetic cannabinoids an illegal substance and lists them as a Schedule I drug under LA R.S. 40:966. This creates the crime of the unlawful production, manufacturing, distribution, or possession of prohibited plants and adds hallucinogenic substances to Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances.

ACT 506, expands drug free zones from 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet from designated properties.

ACT 925, prohibits carrying a concealed handgun on any school, school property, or school bus, and authorizes concealed handgun permit holders to carry a concealed handgun within 1,000 feet of school property.

ACT 516, substantially redefines the crime of pornography involving juveniles.  This law makes the practice of "sexting" pornographic images of juveniles a crime.

ACT 989, creates the crime of  Cyber Bullying and defines it as the transmission of any electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication with the malicious and willful intent to coerce, abuse, torment, or intimidate a person under the age of 18.