A bill barring drivers from touching their cell phones while on the road narrowly escaped the House and is on its way to the Senate. The anti-distracted driving legislation was inspired by the uptick in distracted driving road deaths in recent years. Bill sponsor Breaux Bridge Representative Mike Huval says the legislation is about protecting the next generation of drivers.

“There are gentlemen here and ladies here that have children who will be driving soon. They will be concerned about distracted drivers,” Huval said.

Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson says the legislation is about a driving culture change. Now-a-days he doesn’t fire up his car without buckling up, but that didn’t always used to be the case.

“At some point this legislator passed legislation that said, ’you shall be required to wear your seat belt in the front seat.’ Prior to that I had never done it,” Pearson said.

But the bill wasn’t without opposition. Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton says living 250 miles away from the capital means she has to spend hours of her day on the road getting work done.

“You don’t have to drive as far as some of us do. I’m on the phone talking with my office practically all day about one situation with my constituents or another, and I just feel it’s going to be a burden on me,” Norton said.

The bill passed with 53 votes.