SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri lawmakers have introduced five new bills to address the dangers of distracted driving.
Currently, there are no restrictions on cell phone usage behind the wheel for those 21 and older.
Senate Bill 56 and Senate Bill 61 are scheduled for a Transportation, Infrastructure, and Public Safety Committee hearing at 8 a.m. today.
Missouri and Montana are the only states without distracted driving laws.
Missouri does have a law that prohibits drivers from texting if they’re under the age of 21, but according to AAA Missouri, 74% of crashes involve drivers who are older than 21.
AAA Missouri, victim advocates and Hands-Free Missouri coalition members will testify in support of the bills later this morning.
If these bills were to pass, they would criminalize the use of cell phones behind the wheel and promote the use of hands-free cell-phone use through technologies such as Bluetooth or voice-to-text.
According to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, there were over 200,000 distracted driving accidents between 2012 and 2021, killing 800 people.
Just in the last year, the Coalition reported that over 1,000 people died on Missouri roads. That includes all causes.