A Missouri law prohibits anyone 21 and younger from texting while driving. A St. Louis-area senator, Sen. Robin Wright-Jones (D-St. Louis) has sponsored a bill (SB 567) to expand that to drivers of any age. The bill also states that drivers can’t be stopped “solely to determine compliance with the state text messaging ban.”
Wright-Jones’ intention is to help keep Missouri roads safe and to keep insurance rates from rising. She said Missouri is one of the few states without an insurance cap, so crashes can affect rates more than in other states.
The Maneater, the Missouri University student newspaper, reported that a hearing was held on the bill last Wednesday in Jefferson City. Representatives from the Missouri Trucking Association, Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri State Medical Association, as well as a Missouri University freshman testified in favor of the bill. No one testified against it.
“The benefit is that it is not safe to be texting, no matter how old you are,” Traffic Sgt. Curtis Perkins was quoted in the Maneater article. “It’s still not safe, no matter who you are, to text and drive.”
The next step is for the bill to be voted on at an executive session. If passed, the bill would go into effect Aug. 28.
In Illinois, it’s been illegal to text, email or surf the web while a car is moving, since Jan. 1, 2010. It’s all right, if at a standstill, such as waiting for a train to pass, or if pulled over to the side.
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