A plan by Rep. Tim Burns (R-Mandeville) to ban all cell-phone use by drivers driving over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway was pulled by the lawmaker before the 2015 Louisiana Legislative Session even began, and rightfully so, because it is entirely unconstitutional.
WWL-TV’s Ashley Rodrigue reported yesterday just how Burns’ plan to keep drivers from using their cell-phone on the Causeway was against the law from the beginning.
“Unfortunately, there’s a Supreme Court ruling that pretty much indicates that officers can’t ask to take a look at a cell phone or an iPhone,” said Causeway Director Carlton Dufrechou, “So that means pretty much that if we get a report of someone texting or using a cell phone on the bridge, in a manner that’s not appropriate, we can’t ask to look at it.”
Apparently, the Supreme Court ruling Riley v. California makes Burns’ proposal to ban cell-phones completely unenforceable because impedes on the individuals’ Fourth Amendment right, which states that law enforcement must have a search warrant to search your property.
Months ago, Burns cited that there was an increase of accidents on the Causeway because of excessive cell-phone use by drivers, saying this was grounds for banning cell-phones while driving altogether.
However, it seems not only unenforceable, but also illegal to tell an individual what they can and cannot do inside their own car. In fact, it sounds a lot like nanny-state regulation that Burns says he is against.