Most of us are keenly aware that texting and driving is a dangerous and deadly combination. Still most of us text and drive at least once a day. Most of us are keenly aware how seat belts save lives. Still a significant number of Louisiana residents choose to not buckle up.

Those two items are on the radar of two Louisiana legislature committees. If the measures under consideration pass failure to abide by the law in either case could be taking a larger bite out of your wallet in the future.

Today a the Senate Committee on Transportation is scheduled to debate changes in the distracted driver laws. They're considering raising the current fine of $175 to $500. That should get most people's attention and put it back on the road where it belongs.

A distracted driver can be just as dangerous as an impaired driver behind the wheel.

Those are the comments for Sgt. Nick Manale with Louisiana State Police. Sgt. Manale went on to explain to the Louisiana Radio Network that texting isn't the only problem behind the wheel. The use of social media sites while driving has become an increasing problem too.

We go to crashes every single day, whether it’s a minor fender bender crash or a serious multi-vehicle crash, it can usually be linked back to some kind of distraction inside that vehicle.

Meanwhile the House Committee on Transportation is looking at raising the current fine for failure to use a seat belt from $25 for first offense to $50.

We know that every passenger in a motor vehicle must be properly restrained not only by law, but of course by the laws of physics.

Proponents of this legislation hope that the doubling of this first offense fine will encourage more motorist to buckle up and drive safely. Both the House and Senate committees are debating these increases today. Should they be approved they will then head to floor of each respected lawmaking body for more debate and a vote.



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