Ban on Driving with Cell Phones?
COLUMBIA - A businessman and a law enforcement officer spoke Tuesday on their opinions on a possible ban on cell phone use while driving. This comes from the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, after a crash near Gray Summit, Missouri that killed two people. The driver at fault received eleven text messages in eleven minutes, then crashed into a school bus and created a chain reaction. The driver at fault and one student on a school bus died.
Thirty-five states have a ban on texting, and Missouri is the only state where you have to be over twenty-one years old to text while driving according to the Governor's Highway t Association. Major Tom Redding said when he sees an accident due to cell phone use, "it's frustrating... one of many things that are just unnecessary." Redding said a ban on all texting while driving for all ages would impact the population but some people will still ignore it. Right now Redding said, "regardless of age, distracted driving is distracted driving."
Terry Nickerson, President of Taxi Terry's, has a policy for his drivers that says they can have cell phones for safety reasons, but the company prohibits drivers from texting while driving. Nickerson said he would like to see a ban on texting while driving state-wide. When asked what goes through his head when he hears of a driver who died in a car accident because of texting, he said, "It could've happened to me before I straightened up. I thank God that it didn't. I now preach to my sixteen-year-old daughter to not text and drive." He said while driving his taxi, he sees a lot of people on the phone, but it's not texting. However, he said it's just the same. When asked on how to get people to realize the dangers of texting while driving, he said, "The older generation needs to set an example."
In 2010, there were 778 fatal crashes across the state, and twenty-one were because of cell phone use.