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Bill to ban texting and driving in Missouri fails — again — in state legislature

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rep. Galen Higdon is disappointed that the Show-Me State will likely remain one of the only states in the nation where it is still legal to text and drive for drivers 21 and over.

“That’s your state government, your state tax dollars at work,” Higdon told FOX 4.

Higdon filed two bills in the current legislative session to put Missouri on par with 47 other states in the nation.

On Wednesday morning, Higdon was informed both of his bills (HB 1600 and 1302) would not advance to a vote on the house floor.

“The voice of the people in our community want a distracted driving law,” Higdon said. “They want texting and driving to cease to protect our innocent citizens driving up and down our highways. But it doesn’t seem that the general assembly agrees with that.”

Arizona and Montana are the other two states that still allow texting and driving. In Kansas, it can lead to a $60 ticket.

John Larimer’s mother, Loretta Larimer, was killed in a head-on collision with a distracted teen driver in 2011. Since that tragedy, John Larimer has also been pushing for a new law in Missouri. Larimer’s written several commentaries on the issue in community newspapers.

On Wednesday afternoon, Larimer was disappointed but not defeated.

“Schools should get involved,” Larimer said, “along with students that have been involved in accidents by texting and driving.”