Missouri Lawmakers Proposing Texting and Driving Ban
Posted on January 14th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
Possible Legislation for Debate During this Session:
According to the Associated Press, several Missouri lawmakers are proposing changes that would forbid all drivers from texting while driving in Missouri.
Senator Jill Schupp is sponsoring one of the proposals according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Her proposal would ban texting by all drivers, not just young drivers or commercial drivers However, Schupp’s legislation would permit texting if motorists use a hands-free voice-activated device.
State Representatives Nate Walker of Kirksville and Cloria Brown of St. Louis have also introduced texting bans that could be debated during the current legislative session.
Captain John Hotz, director of public information education division for the Missouri State Highway Patrol said that inattentiveness is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. “Texting, cell-phone usage, other passengers in the car, the radio station, eating and drinking,” Hotz said. Hotz listed those types of distractions as common and stated if we could eliminate the distraction of texting and driving, we could eliminate many crashes due to inattention. ”
You have to pay attention to weather conditions, driving through construction areas and coming into rush hour traffic, “ said Hotz. “Those are all things you need to see when you are driving, and if you are distracted by any type of device or a person inside the car then you’re not going to notice those very important things.”
Texting while driving increases the risk of a car crash by 50 percent according to the American Automobile Association (AAA)
The Missouri Highway Patrol reported driver inattention as a contributing circumstance in 22,491 crashes in the state during 2012 which resulted in 8,952 injuries and 92 deaths. During the same time period, there were 357 crashes where texting while driving was cited as a contributing cause, which ended in 108 injuries and two fatal crashes. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety said 20 percent of crashes are a result of some sort of distracted driving. Drivers that are texting generally have their eyes off of the roadway for 4.6 seconds.
Currently, Missouri state law bans drivers under the age of 21 and drivers of commercial vehicles from texting. However, 46 other states and the District of Columbia have banned text messaging for all drivers. However, various municipalities in the greater St. Louis area have local bans on texting for all drivers.
So, while you may not receive a citation on a Missouri interstate for texting and driving (unless you are driving erratically or are involved in a crash—- you may receive a citation if you are caught texting and driving in Manchester, Missouri. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving another driver, you will have questions. We have answers. As well, download our free mobile app
At The Cagle Law Firm, we have represented many, many people injured in car crashes. Our consultations are free and confidential.
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