ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) - Time is running out for the Missouri Legislature to take action on a plan to expand the state’s texting-while-driving law but the current law appears to be seldom enforced.
St. Louis County issued only one texting-while-driving ticket in 2012 while statewide just 70 tickets were issued.
Attorney Tom Neill with Gray, Ritter and Graham says he has seen the aftermath of texting while driving.
“Somebody is texting while driving, they’re not paying attention, a stoplight is up ahead, it turns red, everybody else follows the law, and the person who’s texting doesn’t see the light change because they’re not paying attention and they just plow into the cars in front of them,” he explained.
Neill says other drivers distracted by texting have drifted onto the shoulder and crashed off the road. He supports a bill in the legislature that would expand the texting ban to all drivers – not just those 21 or under – and he supports a separate bill that would ban handheld use altogether while driving.
“It would be nice if the state would say ‘you know what, this is not just a problem for those under the age of 21.’ There’s no reason to think someone who’s 22 years of age is going to be any better at texting while driving than someone who’s 21,” Neill said.