Missouri Lawmakers Take Another Look At Texting While Driving

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JEFFERSON CITY- There are seven weeks remaining in the legislative session, and texting while driving will be an issue of discussion. Lawmakers are once again pushing for a ban of all ages on texting while driving. This is a discussion that was brought up last year, but failed in the Senate.

Right now, Missourians over the age of 21 are allowed to text while driving. The texting ban being reviewed would consider age irrelevant and outlaw drivers of all ages to send text messages while behind the wheel.

On April 2, a committee hearing took place where advocates for the ban told the House that cell phone usage continues to be an increasing distraction and cause to automobile accidents. Bill Sponsor Don Wells, R-Cabool, said the ban would serve as a prevention tool. However, committee members are skeptical about the privacy issues and enforcement regarding the ban. If Missouri passes this legislation, it would become the 36th state with this ban.

The ban exempts voice recognition devices that are pre-installed in a vehicle. A general distracted driving bill is also on the table. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the number one contributing factor for crashes in the state is driver inattention.