A bill barring drivers from touching their cellphones while on the road narrowly escaped the House and is on its way to the Senate. The anti-distracted driving legislation was inspired by the uptick in distracted driving road deaths in recent years. Bill sponsor Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval says the legislation is about protecting the next generation of drivers.
Huval says, "They have gentlemen and ladies here that have children that will be driving soon that will be concerned about distracted drivers."
Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson says the legislation is about a driving culture change. Now-a-days he doesn’t fire up his car without buckling up, but that didn’t always used to be the case.
Pearson says, "At some point, this legislator passed legislation that said, 'You shall be required to wear a seat belt in the front seat.' Prior to that, I had never done it."
But the bill wasn’t without opposition. Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton says living 250 miles away from the capital means she has to spend hours of her day on the road getting work done.
Norton says, "You don't have to drive as far as some of us do. I'm on the phone talking to my office practically all day about one situation with my constituents or another. I just feel that it's going to be a burden on me."
The bill passed with 53 votes.