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Did You Know Texting While Driving Is Illegal In Louisiana And Using Facebook Or Twitter Isn’t?

drive tweeting
Steve Wiley

Sometimes when I get in my car, it seems like I’m dodging Kamikaze pilots.
A proposed state law would make it illegal to post status updates or anything else to social media websites while driving.

“Under current law, nothing states or talks about social networking. Texting, social networking, it’s all about taking your eyes off the road.” – Sen. Dale Erdey

Senator Erdey introduced a measure aimed at closing a loophole in Louisiana’s law that bans texting while driving. The Senate transportation committee approved the measure on Wednesday that would also ban accessing social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It will go to the full Senate for debate.

Erdey said law enforcement officials in the city of Walker reported stopping drivers who looked like they were texting.  When pulled over, the drivers said they weren’t texting. They were posting to social media sites.

Pew Research Center recently issued a report indicating the number of people using social media increased from 8 percent in 2005 to 83 percent in 2012. The center also released a survey indicating 40 percent of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone.

Published statistics indicate sending or receiving a text takes the driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph that’s driving the length of a football field without seeing where you’re going, or what’s in front of you. That being said, can you read, or post a status update in 4.6 seconds?

If the measure passes into law, first time offenders will face fines up to $175.00, increasing to as much as $500.00 for repeat offenses.  I think the penalties should be as severe as those for drunk driving.

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