Under a bill approved 81-7 by the Louisiana House, car dealers in the state would only be allowed to sell vehicles with "split-view screens" so front-seat passengers but not drivers can watch a movie or DVD.
House Bill 243, championed by Rep. Helena Moreno (D-New Orleans.), now heads to the Senate for debate.
The legislation would only allow screens to be installed in such a way that the driver would not be able to view the screen unless it’s being used for navigational purposes, Moreno said. "It would almost be impossible for a driver to lean over to see" the passenger side of the screen.
Backers of the bill said that at least 34 other states allow the “split-view” screen function, but Louisiana dealers cannot sell those vehicles legally under state law.
Moreno said technology exists now that allows passengers to watch a video while drives are only able to see mapping screens. Mercedes-Benz, so far, is the only carmaker offering such technology. It offers a LCD center-console display that can act as a split screen, allowing the driver to only view GPS mapping while the passenger watches a video. Moreno, however, said other automakers are considering adding the feature as well.