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Texting while driving continues to be an issue in Missouri

There is no doubt about it, cellphones play a big role in today's society and their popularity shows no signs of ebbing anytime soon. Users not only communicate via verbal conversations, but more and more, texting as well. Activities involving cellphones can be considered distracted driving behaviors which often lead to car accidents.

In an effort to keep the number of car accidents due to distracted driving involving cellphones to a minimum, throughout the nation many states have banned the use of cellphones for texting, for all drivers. Some states have taken it even further making it illegal to even talk on a phone while operation a motor vehicle. Missouri is not one of those states. Instead, how one may use a cellphone is dependent on how old the driver is.

The law regarding this matter was passed in 2009. It allows drivers who are over the age of 21 to both talk and text while behind the wheel, operating a vehicle. Drivers who are 21-years-old or younger and caught texting can receive a ticket for the infraction. According to a county prosecutor, the law is difficult to enforce which means that few actually received a ticket for the activity. In addition, it is apparently difficult to prove that texting is taking place when accidents do occur.

Certain legislators in the state of Missouri have attempted to make the laws regarding texting and driving stricter. In 2012, a total of three bills aiming to do this died in committee. Representatives have not given up however. Recently, bills regarding the matter were once again introduced. Whether they will succeed remains to be seen.

Source: Missourian, "Missouri law lags behind risks of distracted driving," Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Feb. 15, 2013

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