New Louisiana Law Prohibits Mobile Device Use in School Zones

 Sheriff Russell reminds drivers that the Louisiana Legislature passed a new law effective August 1, 2014 prohibiting the use of mobile devices in school zones.  “Laws have been in place regarding certain uses of mobile devices while driving for some time, however this new law prohibits any use of a mobile device in a designated school zone with very limited exceptions,” Sheriff Russell said.  “We all recognize the dangers of using a mobile device in general while driving, but the danger is increased dramatically if the driver is in a school zone.  Children’s safety is the reason for this law”, he added.  In an effort to make motorists aware of the new statute and further help insure children’s safety, the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Deputies are placing signs in the parish school zones advising of the new law.

Louisiana Revised Statute Title 32:300.8:

  • If you’re driving through a school zone during posted hours, it is against the law to use your cell phone or other mobile device for any reason, including:
    • Making a phone call.
    • Texting.
    • Social networking.

The only exceptions to this rule are if:

    • You need to report an emergency (including traffic hazards or accidents).
    • Your personal safety is at risk.
    • You need to report or avert a criminal act against someone (including yourself).
    • You are legally parked.
    • You operate an emergency vehicle and must use your cell phone as part of your job.

If you are caught illegally using your cell phone in a school zone, you will be charged with a moving violation. The fine for a first offense is $175 and any second or subsequent offenses carry a fine of up to $500.