Missouri's texting and driving law under review - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Missouri's texting and driving law under review

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A new law in Missouri could make it illegal for all ages to text and drive. A new law in Missouri could make it illegal for all ages to text and drive.
Palmyra Resident Alexandra Maynard uses an app called 'It Can Wait.' Palmyra Resident Alexandra Maynard uses an app called 'It Can Wait.'
47 states ban text messaging for all drivers. 47 states ban text messaging for all drivers.
In Illinois it is illegal to be on your cell phone, period. In Illinois it is illegal to be on your cell phone, period.
Palmyra Police Officer Patrick Anderson says texting and driving is a bad idea for everyone, no matter what the age. Palmyra Police Officer Patrick Anderson says texting and driving is a bad idea for everyone, no matter what the age.
PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -

There's a new push to change the texting and driving law in Missouri and it could affect everyone who gets behind the wheel. 

47 states ban text messaging for all drivers, Missouri is the only state that prohibits text messaging for a certain age group, but it may not be this way for long. 

"I notice a lot of times while I'm trying to get on the highway that people aren't really paying all the attention that they should be on the road," said Palmyra Resident Alexandra Maynard. 

Under Missouri law, anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from texting and driving. Rep. Jim Hansen (R-Frankford) is pushing for a total ban on texting.

"It doesn't matter what age you are, if your eyes are off the road then you're a hazard to the roadway," said Palmyra Police Officer Patrick Anderson. 

When drivers text while behind the wheel it's not only a hazard to themselves, but others as well.

"It takes on average about five seconds to send or receive a text message and if you're going at highway speed, which is about 55 mph, that five seconds causes you to have your eyes off the road equivalent to a football field," said Anderson.

While he thinks this proposal is a good step, Anderson says he doesn't think the law goes far enough. 

"We have other mediums people are using; Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, social networking sites, that they may be going down the road and flipping through," said Anderson. "These laws don't cover that."

Morgan Ingram is a 16-year-old driver in Palmyra. With Ingram's age, she is covered under Missouri law but says she still sees her peers texting while behind the wheel. 

"I've been with my friends who have been texting and driving and they've went into the other lane or pulled out in front of somebody," said Ingram. "They've told me stories about times when they've almost been in a wreck because of it."

In Illinois, it is against the law to use your phone at all while driving. That means no talking or texting if you're driving through Illinois. Texting while driving is also illegal in Iowa. However, Hawkeye drivers can use GPS for navigation.

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