Look over at the car next to you at any stop light you come to. Chances are you will the face of the driver looking down into their hand or their lap to check their smartphone. The distracted driving phenomenon has hit epidemic proportions. It used to be bad enough that people were yammering on their phones while driving. Now there is an even bigger issue with the popularity of text messaging and social media.

The Louisiana Senate has passed proposed changes in the fines assessed by law enforcement for those caught texting and driving. The House Transportation has reviewed that legislation and given their stamp of approval to move the bill into the full house for a vote.

Five seconds is the average time that a person looks away to text, and if you’re driving at 55, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field.

That's what Representative Yvonne Colomb told the Louisiana Radio Network when asked about her support of this bill. By the way a football field is considerably longer than the two second space your supposed to keep between yourself and driver in front of you.

The proposed increase in fines will take the penalty from $125 for a first offense to $500 for the same charge. Colomb says this is not a bill about money. It's a bill about saving lives. 

Six hundred sixty thousand drivers, they’re using cell phones and manipulating electronic devices while driving. That’s from the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.

There was no opposition to the measure that was voiced during the committee hearing. The bill will now move to the full House for a vote that's expected to come later this week.