The number of traffic fatalities in Louisiana has been increasing since 2013, most notably in urban areas of the state. In a serious effort to improve traffic safety and increase accountability, Louisiana's Highway Safety Commission is championing several new traffic laws went into effect as of August 1, 2018.
From 2014 to 2015, there was a spike in the number of traffic fatalities involving blood alcohol levels above the legal limit. The following acts are now in place in an attempt to discourage DWIs.
- Those convicted of a DWI will face increased fines. They will have to pay $50 for the breath-test, plus, the convicted will now be fined $125 for a DWI: a $50 increase.
- Those convicted of additional DWIs will also face an increase in the length of probation: up to 8 years.
Reckless driving of an off-road vehicle
Previously, off-road vehicles were not subject to reckless driving charges if driving on a public road. That is no longer the case.
- The drivers of off-road vehicles found to be driving recklessly on public roads not face a penalty of up to $500 and 90 days in jail, plus confiscation and destruction of their vehicle.
Creating hazards by driving through flooded areas
One thing we're all too familiar with in Louisiana are flooded streets. Many drivers fail to realize that, although your vehicle may be able to traverse the flooded street, the wake created is likely to enter someone's home.
- Drivers found to be creating wakes in flooded areas now face up to 250 hours of community service and 2-year suspension of driver's license.
It certainly seems as though the state of Louisiana is ready to tackle traffic safety in a serious way. Change happens slowly, however. If you see a car driving dangerously, give them space and call 911 when it's safe to do so.