Distracted Driving Laws are a Must-Have for Missouri


Distracted Driving Laws are a Must-Have for Missouri

“It’s completely preventable.”

That’s a quote from MODOT’s Jon Nelson, talking about distracted driving deaths. Nelson was featured in a Post Dispatch story from last January about lawmakers’ efforts to pass a distracted driving ban.

Most traffic deaths are preventable, but deaths from distracted driving are preventable. That’s why passing a strong distracted driving law is vital.

Last year, 118 people were killed while walking by people driving in Missouri—the highest in 10 years. Despite a reduction in traffic deaths, distracted driving is a leading cause in crashes, and Missouri is one of only two states without meaningful distracted driving legislation.

This is a public health crisis. If 118 Missourians were killed by a new contagious illness it would be headline news, and authorities would act. Instead, those deaths are simply the cost of using our phones while driving.

While different state legislation has been introduced, varying in scope and detail, it is vital that Missouri lawmakers pass meaningful distracted driving legislation.

Trailnet supports banning drivers from using a smartphone or similar device while driving, including talking and texting, but still allowing voice-only or hands-free use; GPS navigation; calling 911 or roadside assistance. We also support the reasonable use of these devices for emergency personnel.

Convenience should never override safety. Until meaningful distracted driving legislation is passed in Missouri, it is still legal for people to drive down the highway or by a local school while staring at their phones.

-Cindy Mense, Trailnet CEO