QUESTION: I’m well aware that the pavilion at the Jefferson Terrace Park is available to rent, but is the entire park? On July 11, a group called Kids of JT appears to have rented the entire park, something I didn’t think was possible. While it may not be possible, it’s certainly what their “Private Party” signs, placed at the entrance of the parking lot, seemed to imply.

ANSWER: Marc Palmer, who handles pavilion rentals for BREC, says:

“There was a special event scheduled and paid for by this group to use the pavilion and adjoining park space. The park would still be open to the public but the area at and around the pavilion can be held for a special event along with the pavilion itself as long as the proper fees and paperwork are taken care of. The signs should not have been put at the entrance to the park but they could have held an area in the parking lot to accommodate their event along with placing signs around the pavilion.”

Texting woes

QUESTION: Why doesn’t Baton Rouge Police or State Police enforce the “no texting” laws? At any given trip down a major street, I can count 20 to 30 people reading or sending texts. Law enforcement worked for seat belts.

ANSWER: They are enforcing those laws, says Sgt. Nick Manale, a Louisiana State Police spokesman. From June 1, 2014, to June 19 of this year, State Police issued 802 citations for violations of LRS 32:300.5, the law that prohibits texting while driving.

“Oftentimes when troopers work crashes or observe traffic violations (often caused by texting or another driver distraction), the motorists may be cited for another offense, such as careless operation, following too closely, improper lane use,” Manale says.

“The violation could have been primarily or even partly caused by the driver distraction, yet the main traffic offense is usually the one cited.

“With that said, texting and driving is a primary offense in the State of Louisiana, meaning that a driver can be pulled over and given a citation simply for that action. Troopers routinely observe distracted drivers and conduct traffic stops that may or may not result in an actual texting while driving citation.”

If you see a driver operating a vehicle in a reckless manner, you can call *LSP (*577) to report the matter to the nearest State Police Troop.

Curious about something?

Send your questions to Ask The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0371; or email