New results from study give insight into Missouri’s anti-texting while driving law

New results from study give insight into Missouri’s anti-texting while driving law

New results from a study done by AT&T provides more insight into texting while driving laws. The communications company says it used an algorithm to anonymously gather data on text messages sent from moving vehicles.

If you think texting while driving is based on smarts…

“I maybe text and drive twice a day,” says Webb City senior high school student Lindey Kneib.

Kneib has been accepted to Harvard University with a 4.0 GPA. We know it’s not safe to text and drive.

“We still do it,” says Webb City senior high school student Kaden Roy.

According to a new study from AT&T, Missouri, along with three other states that have more lenient texting while driving laws, have a 17% overall higher rate of texting while driving than other states. There’s no law against people in Missouri over the age of 21 who text and drive, while many other states ban texting while driving no matter the age.

Despite this study, teens and even local police debate whether a new state law outright banning texting while driving would make a big difference.

“That’s a very hard law to enforce,” says Webb City Police Chief Carl Francis. “I think it would just send out a message, more than it would sent out an enforcement action.”

“Most likely, it won’t affect anything that much, but it still could help. So, I think that it would help a little bit to pass the ban,” says Webb City senior high school student Derick Newby.

“I think the more information that we get out there, would probably help a lot more, kind of understand what it could do,” says Roy.

The AT&T study reaffirmed that 90% of people know distracted driving is dangerous, but 71% of people continue to text while drive.

Last year and this year, Missouri State Senator David Pearce proposed an all-age ban on texting while driving. The measure failed in the Transportation Public Safety Committee. Senator Pearce says other lawmakers were concerned police wouldn’t be able to tell if a passing motorist was truly texting while driving, or rather just looking down at something in their car, like a book.

“I think we need to have banning on texting (while driving), and I’m going to keep working on it,” says Senator Pearce.

Kneib, Newby, and Roy all agree, it’s time for, at the very least, more driver education classes to include the dangers of distracted driving.

“I guess they might just assume that we aren’t going to text and drive because it’s so dumb to do. But that could be another way to help, if they taught 14 and 15 year olds how bad it could be, before they are 16 and driving,” says Newby.

For more information on the AT&T study, click here.