Missouri is one of only three states in the country that does not have an all driver texting ban in place. However a new piece of legislation would require people of all ages to put their phones away before getting into the driver’s seat.
Missouri Senate Bill 15, proposed by Sen. Wayne Wallingford (R- Cape Girardeau), would prohibit drivers of all ages from using their cell phones (with the exception of hands-free devices) while driving.
Sergeant Larry Stobbs maintains a driving simulator for the St. Joseph Police Department that demonstrates the dangers of drinking and distracted driving. Stobbs said the number of drunk drivers on the roads are starting to decline, but are being replaced with people texting and using social media apps on their phones while behind the wheel.
“Those [drivers] are every bit as dangerous, if not more dangerous than a drunk driver, because the drunk driver, while they may might not comprehend everything that is going on around them,at least their eyes are focused on the road,” Stobbs said. “When somebody is looking down texting on their phone, their eyes are off the road completely.”