Columbia City Council passes distracted driving ban

7 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Monday, December 18 2017 Dec 18, 2017 Monday, December 18, 2017 10:16:00 PM CST December 18, 2017 in News
By: Justin Kollar, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council Monday approved a citywide distracted driving ban, which would outlaw any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road. 

As defined by the city council, distracted driving includes a wide range of activity like texting, eating, putting on makeup or reading a map.

Columbia's Vision Zero Plan seeks to eliminate all traffic-related deaths by the year 2030. The distracted driving ban is part of the implementation of that plan.

In the Vison Zero Action Plan, Enforcement Critical Action #2 Initiative B states, "The Enforcement Team will introduce an ordinance to ammend Ch. 14 to ban texting and driving in the City of Columbia for all drivers.

The ordinance passed Monday amends the current ordinance (Sec. 14-236) to include prohibitions on distracted driving for all drivers.

City officials hope the ban will greatly reduce the number of Columbian's that text and drive. Cell phone usage contributed to more than 2,000 crashes in Missouri in 2015. 

Fourth Ward Council Member Ian Thomas said the time has come for action.

"The whole Vision Zero Task Force felt very strongly that, by setting a law like this, it would send a strong message that drivers need to pay attention to the control of their vehicle," he said.

Texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by 50 percent. The state of Missouri has no laws that prohibit texting and driving for people over 21.

Annette Triplett, the executive director of PedNet, a coalition that works closely with city officials on implementation strategies, said the distracted driving ban is a good way to get around the lack of a state law against texting while driving.

"This ordinance will make it clear that distracted driving is illegal and an unsafe driving behavior," Triplett said. "If this ban passes, police will have a little more flexibility."

Flexibility that could reduce erratic driving.

"Say the police see someone driving erratically," Triplett said. "Law enforcement can pull you over for distracted driving without having to be super particular about it."

City officials will need to discuss further what the consequences of distracted driving will be.

Monday night's vote was unanimous.

Below is the language from the ordinance.

(a) Every person operating or driving a motor vehicle shall drive and operate the same in a careful and prudent manner and shall exercise at all times the highest degree of care in the operation of the same.

(b) It shall be prima facie evidence that a vehicle operator is not exercising the highest degree of care if the operator of a moving vehicle engages in any conduct that causes such operator’s vision or attention to be obscured, diminished or directed elsewhere than the path of travel or attention of the vehicle, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. (1)  By using a mirror to engage in grooming;

  2. (2)  Reading anything located in the vehicle other than the operation information displayed on vehicle gauges and equipment;

  3. (3)  Writing or drawing;

  4. (4)  Manually inputting information into a GPS or mapping device; or

  5. (5)  Turning one's head substantially away from the path of travel to observe things in the vehicle or outside the vehicle but contrary to the path of travel.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged a Columbia man with murder Thursday, two months after deputies found a woman dead in a... More >>
5 minutes ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 4:16:29 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA - A convicted murderer charged with the killing of an Eldon girl in 1984 got a change of venue... More >>
24 minutes ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 3:57:13 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - Gov. Mike Parson, lawmakers and agriculture experts talked to Missouri farmers at the State Fair Thursdsay, to assure... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:54:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are searching for the man pictured above, saying he is a suspect in a Thursday morning... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:50:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An invasive beetle has spread to 11 new counties in Missouri. The emerald ash borer kills more than... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:27:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri announcement a financial windfall Thursday that will help feed hundreds... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri candidate who recently claimed a surprise victory in the Republican primary for state... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:05:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis housing complex where reported... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:57:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - St.Louis-based SSM Health confirmed Thursday it is exploring a transfer of its Jefferson City and Mexico hospitals to... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:28:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport managers held the first All Things Airport monthly meeting on Thursday. The meeting was... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in Top Stories
(CNN) - Aretha Franklin, whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title "the Queen of Soul,"... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Thursday morning's latest drought update from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) shows the expansion of drought... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:15:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who's charged with killing her 5-year-old daughter and critically injuring her 1-year-old son... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 8:38:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jetliner taking off narrowly missed hitting an airport van that crossed a runway to go to... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former Missouri state trooper who was driving a boat when a handcuffed Iowa man fell... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:41:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - A multiple vehicle accident shut down both sides of Interstate 70 Wednesday around 7 p.m. At least... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department opened a new substation in northeast Columbia on Wednesday. It's located off of Paris... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:36:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – In his first comments on the extended period of weekend violence in downtown Columbia, Police Chief Ken Burton... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 93°
5pm 91°
6pm 90°
7pm 89°
8pm 85°