Missouri senator wants texting ban as secondary offense

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | 11:50 a.m. CST; updated 12:02 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 25, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — A proposed compromise to expand Missouri's law banning texting while driving appears to have fallen flat in a Senate committee.

The Senate Transportation Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would prohibit all drivers — not just those 21 and younger — from texting while driving. Because similar bills have failed in the past, Sen. Robin Wright-Jones, D-St. Louis, proposed making texting a secondary offense — meaning police would have to pull motorists over for something else before they could write a ticket for texting.

But the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it prefers to make texting a primary offense. Several senators also said that if Missouri is to strengthen its texting law, they want police to be able to pull people over for other violations.

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