MoDOT pushing for hands-free cellphone legislation

(Jefferson County) With the new legislative session underway in Jefferson City, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is once again putting its support behind creating legislation that would ban the use of cellphones while driving.

The current state law requires that anyone 21 and under have to use a hands-free device when driving; however, those above the age-limit can use cellphones at any time.

MoDOT Engineer Stephen O’Connor says that needs to change.

Other than Missouri, Montana remains the only state without any statewide ban for texting and driving.

Last year, Senate Bill 713 was sponsored by Democratic Senator Greg Razer of Kansas City.

The bill would ban texting while driving for all ages and enforce hand-free devices. However, time ran out during last year’s session before anything became of the bill.

Last year 1,032 people died in traffic crashes in Missouri, which is the second consecutive year in which more than 1,000 people have died in motor vehicle accidents in the state.