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Missouri lawmakers consider proposal to ban texting while driving

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri lawmakers heard testimony Monday night as they presented a proposal to ban all drivers from texting while driving.

Right now, only  drivers under 21-years old and commercial truck drivers  are not allowed to text while driving.

Statistics show thousands of people die each year from distracted driving, and those who text while driving are 23-times more likely to get into a car crash. It’s become such an epidemic that 46 states, including Kansas, have banned all drivers from texting while driving. Missouri, Arizona, Montana and Texas are the only four states that do not have bans against texting and driving.

According to the CDC, 31-percent of all drivers read or sent a text message in the past month. Some websites argue that number is much higher.

A House Committee heard testimony from law enforcement, health workers and the insurance and transportation industries on Monday night. No one spoke against the ban. The only concern raised was that the ban would give police officers another reason to stop drivers. But supporters add while it might be hard to enforce, it would send a clear message to all drivers to put down their cell phone while driving.

The law, if passed, would ban all drivers in Missouri from reading, writing and sending emails and text messages while driving unless it’s an emergency situation.
An officer could ticket you for a moving violation if you are caught in the act.

A Senate Committee has already heard testimony on a similar bill.

If the ban does end up becoming law, it would go into effect at the end of August.