A bill that would make it illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving is scheduled to come up before the full House of Representatives for a vote Friday in Baton Rouge. The measure by Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, would impose fines ranging from $100 for a first offense to $250 for a fourth offense. The bill does allow for some exceptions to the law, such as persons using a cell phone while driving during a medical emergency.

Amendments were attached to the bill as it made its passage through committees, including making driving while using a cell phone a secondary offense, meaning a motorists cannot be pulled over by law enforcement solely for violating the cell phone law — it must be secondary to another offense such as speeding or running a red light. A proposed amendment to the bill would give the law enforcement agency issuing the ticket 25 percent of the proceeds, rather than 100 percent of the fine going to the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.

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