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As of Thursday, drivers under 21 will no longer be allowed to text while driving. This is part of House Bill 62 which was signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon in July. Nixon visited Springfield Thursday afternoon to comment on the new state law. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.
According to Nixon, this new law will help protect the safety of Missouri’s youth and reduce the number of accidents among less experienced drivers. He said that distracted or impaired driving is dangerous, in any form. Police will stop any drivers who appear to be texting and under the age of 21.
Nixon said that the law targets only drivers under 21 instead of everyone who may be texting while driving because those younger drivers are less experienced and have shorter attention spans. He said that the current law will serve as an opportunity to collect data on how the ban affects road safety, and that it could later be expanded to include all drivers.
“A year from now, we’ll have very significant data as to whether or not this will help make our roads safer. If we do, then presenting to these policy leaders behind me the opportunity to expand this is certainly something we’ll look at,” said Nixon.
The new law states that a driver under 21 who is found texting while driving can receive a fine of up to $200, and an assessment of points on the driver’s license. For KSMU news, I’m Adam Murphy.