Texting while driving ban toughened - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Texting while driving ban toughened

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.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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