Spring is nearly here and lawmakers have been busy creating laws to make Missouri roads safer. Two major things are currently in the works. Missouri lawmakers seek to make Missouri the 42nd state to completely ban texting and driving, and the Missouri House has laid groundwork for an effective, legal use of red light cameras.
Missouri Texting Ban
Lawmakers and representatives in Jefferson City are working on making texting and driving illegal for all drivers. This would expand on current law, which bans drivers under 21 from texting while driving. If passed, driver education and a proper method of law enforcement would need to be developed to make the law effective. While not everyone is on board with the ban, supporters of the bill cite that many were against seatbelt laws when they were first introduced. Rep. Keith English stated; “We were all victims, at one time, of not wanting and rebelling against wearing seatbelts. I was one of those and now it just becomes a habit and I think it’s time that we do something to stop at least one death if not 3,000 next year.”
Red Light Camera Guidelines
Red light cameras have been widely disputed in Missouri, and the Missouri House has approved guidelines for effective placement and enforcement of the cameras. The cameras would be limited to travel safe zones, and work and school zones, and require signs to notify drivers of the cameras. All areas with red light cameras would need to conduct a crash study, and have the penalty fees capped at $135.
Missouri has made great progress so far working towards safer roads. With distracted driving an ever-present issue, both these laws could make a promising impact on driving culture.