La. lawmaker targets texting

Published 12:12 am Monday, March 8, 2010

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A Louisiana state lawmaker wants to strengthen laws that prohibit texting while driving.

It’s already against the law in Louisiana, but it’s a secondary offense.

That means police can’t pull you over for texting, but they can ticket you for the offense if they stop you for breaking another traffic law, such as speeding or running a stop sign.

State Sen. Butch Gautreaux, D-Morgan City, calls the current law ‘‘ridiculous.’’

He wants to make it a primary offense, which will allow authorities to more aggressively enforce the ban approved by lawmakers two years ago.

Gautreaux’s bill would keep the current fines in place — $175 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent ones. Fines are doubled if the driver is in a wreck.