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New Orleans-proposed legislation could reduce car accidents

Lawmakers in Louisiana have always taken an aggressive stance on road safety. According to state laws, it is illegal to text and drive, and those below the age of 18 cannot use cell phones while operating an automobile. Now, a New Orleans legislator is proposing new regulations that take these laws to the next level: if passed, it would become illegal to talk on the phone while driving without a hands-free device.

According to national studies, car accidents are four more times likely to involve a distracted driver than not. In short, their presence on the roads is a safety hazard. The proposed legislation would be new to Louisiana, but it is not novel. Nine other states already ban using cell phones while driving.

It is not possible to completely ban cell phone use in cars, which is why legislators are focusing on implementing a hands-free bill, incorporating the latest technology such as Bluetooth or a device built into the vehicle.

Drivers are concerned as to how the bill would be implemented and policed, but many encourage its enforcement for enhancing road safety. The proposed legislation will be looked at by the Senate Transportation Committee in upcoming weeks.

Even if the bill is not passed, drivers should refrain from using cell phones while driving to minimize some of the risk factors of getting into a car crash. By keeping attention directed at the road, drivers not only protect themselves but also help keep other drivers on the road safe at the same time.

Source: WWL, "New Orleans lawmaker proposing hands-free cell phone bill," Tania Dall, March 12, 2012

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