Andy Kim is a former GOVERNING staff writer.
While many states have some sort of law in place aimed at preventing drivers from using their cell phones – whether it be making calls, texting or e-mailing – while on the road, officials at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development are taking it to the next level. As part of a nationwide push by the U.S. Department of Transportation to curb distracted-driving among government employees, Louisiana DOTD officials’ vehicles will be equipped with devices that eliminate the temptation of using a cell phone while on the road. The devices restrict on-the-road use of mobile devices by storing calls, e-mails and text messages while the vehicle is moving, and allowing access to them only when the vehicle is not in motion. However, calls to 911 will go through, whether or not the vehicle is in motion. After the initial pilot period of about a month expires, the program’s results will undergo review to gauge the device’s ability to increase driver-safety.