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May 3, 2012 4:53 PM by Jenise Fernandez

Cell phones while driving could soon be illegal in La.

What do you think about the possible ban on cell phone use while driving?
Send your comments to hoyt.harris@katctv.com.

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The use of hand held cell phones while driving could soon be illegal in Louisiana.

House bill 695 would prohibit drivers from using a cell phone while driving, unless it's a hands free device. Current law can fine a driver up to $175 for texting and driving and drivers under the age of 18 cannot use any wireless devices while driving. The House passed House Bill 695 and the Senate will debate on it. Similar proposals have failed in the past.

Every time Jo Wist gets on the road she notices drivers aren't paying attention, they're texting and making calls on their their cell phones.

"There's been so many accidents, people driving off the roads. We don't need to be doing that while we're driving," said Wist.

Wist thinks a cell phone ban while driving would help make roads safer.

"I grew up without a cell phone and people managed then so just while you're driving I don't think it's a big deal, better than being in a car accident," said Wist.

Kalen Floyd thinks people will hang up their phones when they get behind the wheel if it's against the law.

"I know sometimes I text and drive and I'm not paying attention. I think this is a good thing, people will be more cautious if they know someone's watching," said Floyd.

Last year, cell phone use was linked to more than 2,000 crashes in Louisiana. Other electronic devices contributed to more than 500.

"We'll never really know the true number because a lot of crashes happen for that reason it's just that information never gets out," said Cpl. Paul Mouton.

Mouton says distracted drivers are a big problem in Lafayette and it's not just people on their phones.

"We've seen on the road reading, putting on make up, shaving. You just need to be defensive when you're driving," said Mouton.

 

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