Louisiana’s Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws

Read about Louisiana’s distracted driving laws and the costs of a violation.

Louisiana has several different distracted driving laws. There’s some overlap, but generally, the laws prohibit texting and interacting with social media for all drivers, and prohibit talking on a cellphone for certain drivers and in certain locations for all drivers.

Restrictions Applicable to All Drivers

Louisiana’s distracted driving laws prohibit all drivers from operating a vehicle while using a wireless telecommunication device to:

  • write, send, or read a text-based communication, including instant messages, email, and regular text messages
  • access, read, or post to social media, or
  • engage in a call while in a school zone and during posted school hours.

Exceptions. Louisiana’s distracted driving laws contain a number of exceptions. These include:

  • device use by emergency services personnel in the discharge of official duties
  • using a GPS (global positioning system), and
  • reporting emergencies and criminal activity.

Fines. For a first violation, the motorist is looking at up $500 in fines. A second or subsequent violation carries a 60-day license suspension and up to $1,000 in fines. And if a violation involves a collision, the fines are doubled.

Restrictions on Drivers with Learner’s and Intermediate Licenses

Motorists who hold a class E learner’s or intermediate license are prohibited from using a cellphone while driving unless the motorist is using hands-free technology.

Exceptions. The learner’s and intermediate license restriction doesn’t apply to calls made to report an emergency or criminal activity.

Penalties. For a first violation, the motorist faces a maximum $500 fine. A second or subsequent violation carries up to $1,000 in fines. And if a violation involves a collision, the fines are doubled.

Restrictions for Underage Drivers

For motorists who are under the age of 18, it’s illegal to text or talking on a cellphone while operating a vehicle.

Exceptions. The underage cellphone and texting ban doesn’t apply to reporting emergencies and criminal activity.

Penalties. For a first violation, the motorist faces a maximum $250 fine. A second or subsequent violation carries a 60-day license suspension and up to $500 in fines. For violations involving accidents, the fines are doubled.

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