Louisiana bills aid red-light runners, tighten teen-driving rules

| 6/23/2008

Two bills nearing passage in the Louisiana statehouse are intended to limit the effects of red-light running violations and to tighten driving requirements for teens.

The first measure would prohibit red-light citations generated by enforcement cameras from being recorded as part of individuals’ driving records for insurance purposes.

The House voted 93-5 to approve the bill. The vote clears the way for the measure – SB74 – to advance to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk. The Senate already approved it.

Another bill nearing passage would modify the state’s rules on licensing requirements for young drivers. A conference committee made up of select lawmakers from both chambers worked out their differences on the bill – SB465 – and it awaits final consideration before the full House and Senate.

Louisiana law now allows some 14-year-olds to take drivers’ education classes. Sponsored by Sen. Michael Walsworth, R-West Monroe, the measure would set the minimum age at 15.

At least eight hours of behind-the-wheel training would be required in drivers’ education classes. Existing rules mandate six hours of driver training.

The 30 hours of classroom instruction already required for teens would not be changed.

Parents or guardians also would be required to sign statements attesting that their prospective drivers have received 35 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience with licensed adults before teens could apply for an intermediate license. The license allows young motorists to drive during certain hours of the day or with a more experienced driver in the vehicle.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Louisiana in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor