No texting or calling while driving bill gets positive feedback

5 years 7 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, February 11 2015 Feb 11, 2015 Wednesday, February 11, 2015 10:05:00 AM CST February 11, 2015 in News
By: Katie Moeller, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

BOONE COUNTY - Tom Rychener said he's never used a phone without a hands free device while driving and said he never will.

"No phone call is important enough to risk my life or someone else's," he said. "120,000 pounds of truck is not going to simply stop on a dime." 

Rychener is a truck driver. In Missouri, it's illegal for commercial vehicle drivers to text or call unless they use some kind of hands free device, like a headset or bluetooth technology. 

One Missouri lawmaker is pushing to make that the law for all drivers, regardless of whether they drive a big rig or a minivan. 

The Senate heard testimony about the bill Wednesday morning. In addition to commercial vehicle drivers, those drivers under 21 years of age are not allowed under the current law to text and drive.

The bill's sponsor, state Sen. David Pearce, said the law as it stands is applicable to only a small number of drivers. He said it's also hard to enforce. 

"Right now, under 21 drivers make up about 8% of those on our roadways," Pearce said. "If an officer of the law sees someone texting and driving, but can't immediately tell their age, it's a hard call for them to make."

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported 63 texting and driving tickets for those under 21 years of age in 2013. That number increased to 81 tickets in 2014. 

Another truck driver, who preferred to be identified only as Bob, said he's seen just how much one text can change someone's life.

"One of the worst accidents I ever saw was on I-70, about five years ago," he said. "I saw a woman pass me, driving with her knees, car on cruise control, both fingers texting  away on her phone. Next thing I knew, I saw her car flip through the air four times."

Bob said it's just not worth the risk for most truckers to text or call and drive.

"If I was caught doing that, my personal fine would be $2,750, and my company would have to pay $10,000," he said.

Rychener is an independent operator, but says the company that leases his service would immediately terminate his contract if he received a texting or calling while driving ticket. 

Only two texting or calling while driving tickets were issued to commercial vehicle operators in 2013 and 2014. 

"If drivers of four wheeler cars had to follow the same regulations we do, I think we'd see a lot more safety on Missouri highways," Rychener said. 

The CDC reports that more than nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured every day by distracted driving crashes. 

More News

Grid
List
NEW DELHI (AP) — The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has eclipsed 1 million. The milestone, recorded by Johns... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 7:58:50 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — The City of Columbia will resume utility disconnections on Monday, Oct. 5. This gives customers one week to... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 7:38:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - A woman faces criminal charges in a Camden County woman’s overdose death last year. ... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 6:28:58 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— Each week the White House Coronavirus Task Force releases a detailed report, regarding the status and recommendations to states... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 6:00:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- UPDATE 6:30 P.M: CPS Athletic Director David Egan confirmed Battle will play at Moberly Friday night at 7 p.m.... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 6:00:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
OSAGE COUNTY— Three people were rescued from the Osage River on Saturday after their pontoon boat got stuck in the... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 5:51:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A New York Times report shows President Donald Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 5:11:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Boone County deputies are currently investigating a shots fired incident that occurred on Mauller Road Monday afternoon. The... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 4:33:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two Whaley's Pharmacy locations will host drive-thru flu shot clinics in the upcoming weeks. The first... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 3:47:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Governor Parson announced Missouri expanded its COVID-19 dashboards Monday afternoon. The new dashboards provide information about different... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 3:22:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- The University of Missouri Police Department responded to a report of a 'threatening person with a knife' at Lee... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 2:03:00 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Millions of Americans will vote by mail or in person for the next president of the US. At... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 12:38:43 PM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department is reducing their interaction with patients and other responders to protect everyone from COVID-19... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 11:27:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson ordered the Missouri State Capitol dome and the Missouri Governor's Mansion to shine red... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 11:15:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
MISSOURI- As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. The... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 11:00:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Police responded to four separate reports of shots fired in the area of Eastwood Drive and Clark Lane... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 10:59:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors say a 32-year-old Kansas City man who was shot by a police officer... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 10:53:06 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, September 28 2020 Sep 28, 2020 Monday, September 28, 2020 9:00:00 AM CDT September 28, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
5am 46°
6am 45°
7am 44°
8am 46°