ADVOCACY ALERT: Hearing on bill banning cell phone use, texting while driving in MO Senate Wednesday Feb 11th

SB 3, the bill sponsored by Sen David Pearce of Warrensburg to ban texting and all cell phone use by drivers is having a hearing Wednesday in the Senate Transportation Committee.  Click for the bill's page:

  SB 3:  Expands ban on using cell phones while driving to all drivers and to include telephone calls

Senator David Pearce is sponsoring legislation calling for a ban on texting whil
Senator David Pearce is sponsoring legislation calling for a ban on texting while driving

In our membership surveys, banning texting, phoning, and other types of distracted driving has emerged as a very important priority, so we are strongly supporting SB 3 and urging individuals and organizations across Missouri to do the same.  We know that distracted drivers injure and kill many thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians nationwide each year.

Take action

You can help raise awareness of this issue and educate your own Missouri Senator about the dangers of distracted driving.

Here is how--in about 5 minutes:

  • Look up your own senator online - click here to find your Senator's page
     
  • Contact your senator by email or their online form - or best of all, by a quick phone call (easy and hugely effective)
     
  • Write a brief personal email based on the Sample Letter below; short is best and personalized is very best.  If calling, use the letter as an outline.
     
  • Please cc: or bcc: director@mobikefed.org on your correspondence--it helps a lot if we know that you've contacted your elected officials.

The hearing is set for Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 in Jefferson City. Typically the committee votes on bills a week later--Feb 18th.  So messages by February 11th are best but messages sent by February 18th, are still helpful.

Sample letter in support of the texting/dialing ban



SUBJECT: Please support SB 3 - ban on cell phone use while driving

Senator X,
 

I live in your District in X and am writing to ask you to please support Senator Pearce's bill, SB 3, which bans cell phone use and texting while driving.

Over 800 Missourians are killed each year in traffic collisions, and over 50,000 are injured.  Many of these injuries and deaths are preventable.  We know that distracted driving is one of the primary causes of traffic injuries and deaths and that people talking on a cell phone while driving have noticeably slower reaction times--yet aren't even aware of just how distracted they are.

Keeping Missouri roads safe is important to me because [talk a little about how you bike and/or walk on the roads, personal situations that bear on this situation, etc.  Brief is good!)

Sincerely,

XXXX


 

Senate Transportation Committee Members

The Senate Transportation Committee will be hearing the bill Wednesday.  If you live in (or near) the District of one of the members, please be sure to take action and contact your Senator.  If you don't--please contact your own Senator regardless.

The sponsor of SB 3 is Senator David Pearce of Warrensburg.  Sen. Pearce is an avid cyclist and a strong supporter of bicycling, walking, and trails.  A brief note of thanks and support to Senator Pearce would be very helpful.  Use Sen. Pearce's contact form here.

What is in SB 3?

Main points of SB 3:

  • Currently in Missouri, only drivers under 21 years of age and commercial drivers are prohibited from texting while driving
     
  • This bill broadens the prohibition on texting to all drivers of all ages
     
  • In addition, drivers are banned from dialing or making telephone calls unless they are using hands-free or voice-activated mode
     
  • This is similar to cell phone & texting bans in force in other states, which have worked well and have brought attention and enforcement to the issue of distracted driving, which we know injures and kills many thousands annually
     
  • Distracted driving disprortionately affects vulnerable road users like people who bike and walk

More about the anti-texting issue in the General Assembly

Since the ban on texting for young drivers was passed several years ago, support has been building to extend the anti-texting prohibition to all drivers.  Bills to that effect have been introduced and heard every year, but none of them has passed yet.

This year, several bills have been introduced to address this issue.  We are hopeful that this represents a groundswell of support and that this year we may be the year that an anti-texting bill finally passes.

Anti-texting and driving bills have been filed this year by:

Many thanks to every one of these legislators for their support of this important issue.  One reason it is near the top of our priority list for 2015 is that our members and partner organizations across the state have identified it as a priority issue.

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