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New laws for La. drivers

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Posted: Aug 1, 2014 6:31 PM by Ambria Washington
Updated: Aug 1, 2014 6:31 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: laws, drivers, legislative, cigarette butts, school zone

BATON ROUGE - More than 500 new laws took effect on August 1, and here's how several of them directly impact drivers in Louisiana.

An amendment was passed this legislative session that considered dropping a cigarette outdoors as littering. It's now illegal to toss a cigarette while driving in the state.

Also, drivers caught using a wireless device in school zones will be subject to fines. However, the school zone law will only be enforced where a warning sign is placed in the school zone. Livingston and East Feliciana have ordered signs for their school zones. Local teachers strongly supported the addition of this law in order to protect their students in busy streets around schools.

"We have 400 kids that we're trying to get out in the afternoon and there is buses and then there's traffic on college drive, which is really busy and teachers we're always hustling really really fast to get the kids into the car," said Lulu Ribus, a Spanish teacher in East Baton Rouge Parish. "A lot of the times the parents are in the car on the phone and they're not really noticing or watching what's going on in the carpool."

State officials said laws like these are ultimately the way to keep our state clean and safe before the start of school.

"You know the safety of our children and the people of our state are paramount," said Jared Sandifer, state trooper. "It's just another law that's going to enhance the safety of people living in Louisiana, and also with the littering. It's going to enhance the beauty of our state."

Operators of vehicles on the water are not immune to the legislative changes. Owners of a single utility or boat trailer are no longer required to undergo an inspection.

Vehicle inspections can now be done in the rain. Also, there are increased penalties for those who become fatigued in fatal crashes as vehicle homicide is now categorized as a crime of violence.

For a full list of all the other laws and amendments passed vist the Louisiana Legislature's website.

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