SPRINGFIELD — If you are over 21, currently you can legally text and drive.
Missouri is one of three states left that doesn’t have some sort of texting ban for all drivers.
With their Buckle Up Phone Down campaign, MODOT’s District Traffic Engineer Cindy Dunnaway says laws may not require them to do so, but all of their employees are expected to treat texting and driving like it is an offense.
“All of our employees are expected to pull over to the side of the road, make thier phone calls from a safe parking lot. Somewhere where they are away from vehicles traveling on those high speed roadways,” Dunnaway says.
MODOT collaborates with AT&T for distracted driving statistics across the country. They say that 9 out of every 10 drivers uses some sort of electronic communication while driving.
With that many drivers on their devices, it’s hard to tell if an all ages-phone usage ban behind the wheel would help that number in Missouri, but it’s something that MODOT would like to see happen. They are advocating for legislation to implement a ban.
Right now we are in the legislative session where bills can be proposed, and eventually voted into law.
There are multiple proposed bans on texting and driving as of this writing between the House and Senate: