For Immediate Release:
December 22, 2015

Contact: Matt Michelson
(573) 751-2272
Senator David Pearce - Making Missouri Roads Safer

JEFFERSON CITY — There is an interesting dichotomy at play, relative to the pros and cons of the technological age in which we live.  While on one hand, having multiple forms of communication devices at our fingertips makes our lives a lot easier and safer, it can also make life a lot more challenging, and even more dangerous.

The reality of this downside is underscored by statistics released by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), which show that 80 percent of crashes involve some form of distracted driving.  This figure is even more troublesome when considering MoDOT statistics show that 50 percent of teens say they text while driving.

Presently, only drivers under the age of 21 and drivers of commercial motor vehicles are prohibited from using hand-held phones to send, read or write text messages or other types of electronic messages; and drivers of commercial motor vehicles are further prohibited from using hand-held cell phones to make telephone calls.  I am continuing my fight this year to expand current law and make our roads safer.

Senate Bill 569 – legislation I pre-filed and am sponsoring in the upcoming legislative session – will, if passed, ban texting and driving for every driver.  This bill is proposed in response to, and in recognition of the fact that more than 3,000 people were killed nationwide as a result of texting and driving in 2013, and thousands more were injured.

The electronic transfer of information via handheld devices has created a culture of urgency in our society, one in which people feel increasing pressure to be constantly connected.  It’s become common for folks to joke about having a fear of missing out.  Is any text really important enough to risk missing out on the rest of your life?  Or worse yet, causing someone else to miss out on the rest of theirs?  I don’t think so, and that is why I am proposing this common sense legislation that will prompt us all to think twice before we put lives in peril – ours and others – over a text message, and to put in place legal consequences for those who make the selfish choice to take that risk.

As always, please feel free to contact me or my staff with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (866) 277-0882 (toll-free) or (573) 751-2272, or by fax at (573) 526-7381.

Senator David Pearce serves Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties in the 21st State Senatorial District.