The Lake Pontchartrian Causeway may soon become a place where you can get pulled over and ticketed for using your cell phone in anyway, thanks to legislation by Rep. Tim Burns (R-Mandeville).
Sound like more nanny-state regulation where law enforcement and state officials tell you what you can and cannot do in your own car? Well, that’s because it is. But to Burns, the legislation will apparently lower the amount of car accidents on the Causeway.
Here’s a statement from Burns on the issue:
“Overboard fatalities on the causeway over the last 20 years have risen from one every five years to currently three per year,” said Burns in a statement. “Nearly all of the fatalities have occurred in southbound lane, which was the initial span of the causeway built in 1957 and which is 5 inches lower than the northbound span, which was built in 1969. The cost of raising the railing as well as installing safety bays, is in excess of $100 million.”
“In discussions with the causeway general manager, Carlton Dufrechou, the main reasons for the increase in accidents are the larger vehicles and drivers distracted by electronic devices,” said Burns. “We obviously can’t prohibit larger vehicles on the causeway, but we can do something about distracted drivers, by prohibiting cell phone use.”
Texting and driving is already prohibited, but the legislature has been unable to pass a bill banning total cell phone use, which is not hands free, on a statewide basis.