Missouri legislator proposes texting ban

Many of our regular St. Louis personal injury blog readers will recall a recent post about a University of Missouri study on the effects of distracted driving in highway work zones. As you know, the study found that distracted drivers are 29 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash in the zones filled with workers, roadwork equipment and other vehicles.

Now a Missouri state senator is proposing a law that would put one of the study’s recommendations into action. State Sen. Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau says he wants to reduce the numbers of motor vehicle crashes caused by distracted drivers by banning texting while driving in the state.

Wallingford says he is hopeful that fellow legislators will approve the ban and send it to Governor Mike Parson for his signature.

Wallingford said that when the bill was introduced and heard earlier this year by the Senate’s transportation committee that “no one testified against it.” Officials representing the insurance, transportation and medical industries all testified in favor of the proposal. The state’s Department of Transportation has voiced its support of the measure as well, Wallingford said.

MoDOT says cellphone-related traffic wrecks are rising sharply – up 35 percent since 2014. Distracted driving is “one of the fastest-growing causes of fatal crashes in Missouri, and like most other contributing factors, it’s completely preventable,” said a highway safety assistant for the department.

Those who are injured in an accident caused by someone paying attention to their phone rather than the traffic have legal options that should be discussed with an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.