Motorists are expected to be particularly attentive while driving in areas where children are present, and regional law enforcement agencies are reinforcing that message in a special enforcement campaign targeting distracted drivers in school zones.
The Capital Region Transportation Safety Coalition has announced their Distracted Driving School Zone enforcement campaign. Through this initiative, officers in the following parishes (East/West Baton Rouge, East/West Feliciana, Ascension, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, and Iberville) will be cracking down on motorists who text, talk, or distract themselves with a hand-held mobile phone while driving. The campaign runs from September 3 – 6 during both the AM/PM arrival and dismissal hours.
“Too many drivers are ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel,” said Jerad Daniel, Lieutenant for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office. “Starting September 3rd, the community will see an increased and highly visible law enforcement presence in our school zones as officers will be stopping and ticketing anyone who is texting and driving. The students and faculty’s safety are our number one concern.”
“With schools now open again, motorist driving in active school zones should be aware that talking on a cell phone with the device in hand is illegal,” said Taylor Scrantz, Public Information Officer, for the Louisiana State Police Troop A.
This campaign will have special patrols aimed at saving lives and protecting the students. Law enforcement agencies, school board officials and safety partners, both state and local, will be participating in this initiative.
Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our roadways. According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Research Group, between 2014-2018, in Louisiana, over 2,000 people have been seriously injured in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver and almost 800 killed. Here in Capital Region, during the same time frame, there were 563 people seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted or inattentive drivers and 139 killed.
“There is clearly more work to be done, not only in our state but in our region, to change driver behavior and save lives,” said Kenyatta Robertson, Capital Region Transportation Safety Coordinator.
Louisiana’s distracted driving fines in a school zone begin at $500 for the first offense and increase to $1000 for the second offense along with a 60-day license suspension for serial offenders.
For more information, on how to join the efforts to help reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways caused by distracted driving and to help us meet Destination Zero Deaths, please visit www.crpcla.org/safety-coalition.