While our legislators in Jefferson City bicker over drawing new congressional districts and try to work out the suddenly convoluted issue of cruelty to dogs, let’s hope they can take care of a problem they should have resolved cleanly last year.
The House has approved a bill to ban texting while driving. The Senate should approve it, too. Then the governor needs to sign it. In one of those moves that leaves people shaking their heads over priorities and procedures in our General Assembly, legislators in 2010 banned an obviously dangerous activity – texting while driving – but only for those 21 and younger.
Already, 31 states have banned texting while driving, which has been shown to distract drivers enough that they pose a clear danger to everyone around them. It’s so bad that one has to wonder why such a law would even be needed, but an insurance industry survey found that about one driver out of 11 admits – admits – texting while driving. And, while we’re on the subject, three in 10 admit driving while talking on the cell phone, and almost four in 10 admit eating or drinking while driving. All are distractions. All pose dangers.
Missouri needs to act, but here’s the catch. Legislators have just a little more than two weeks left in their 2011 session. All kinds of worthy legislation dies in the final days and hours each May. This is one lawmakers need to get right.