Missouri Looks To Expand Its Distracted Driving Laws

The distracted driving discussion keeps coming up across the nation, even more so now that the National Transportation Safety Board issued its call for a full ban on all handheld cell phone use, including hands-free devices.

Some states already have specific bans over text messaging, bans they are finding difficult to enforce. Missouri has written 125 tickets for texting infractions over the 25 months its ban has been in effect.

Missouri State Sen. Robin Wright-Jones, D-St. Louis, is co-sponsoring bills to extend the state’s ban on texting while driving to motorists of all ages. Currently the law only prohibits those 21 and under.

The AAA Mid-Atlantic survey showed that drivers ages 18-24 were more likely to read or write texts while driving, but 10 percent of drivers ages 45-54 read texts while driving, and 5 percent in that age group had written texts while behind the wheel.

Wright-Jones said that being aware of what is happening around you should be a basic ingredient to driving, regardless of your age.

“We need to get back to the original premise of driving,” she said. “Keep your eyes on the road. You cannot do that if you are texting. It’s impossible.”

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