Missouri law bans texting while driving

As of August 28, a Missouri law banning texting while driving is effective. Specifically, drivers under the age of 21 cannot text unless they are reporting illegal activities or emergencies. Those caught will be fined $200 and receive 2 points on their driving record.

38 other states have enacted some law(s) restricting the use of cell phones while driving. Of those 38 states, 8 states passed laws restricting texting for only young or inexperienced drivers. This age restriction has upset some people.

“I don’t think it’s fair at all. There’s no magical ‘I’m over 21, I don’t hit cars while texting,’” said senior Chris Obernuefemann.

There are other people who think that the age limit is acceptable.

“It’s appropriate because 21-year-olds are responsible enough to know when they can text and when they can’t,” said junior Matt Stiens.

Besides the age constraint, people disagree about the $200 fine.

“[The fine] is a bit excessive. I think it should be somewhere between $50 and $100. People under 21 don’t have that much money,” said Obernuefemann.

There are students, such as junior Nicole Miller, who believe that the fine should be higher.

“For under 21, $200 to $300 would be a decent amount. A lot of teenagers have jobs; kids don’t have much to spend on,” said Miller.

Resource Officer Paul Fay feels more strongly about cell phone use while driving.

“I think [the laws] should cover everything, not just texting,” said Officer Fay. “[The laws] should cover all age ranges, like Illinois’ laws.”

Officer Fay has advice for those who might be tempted to text.

“If you’re gonna text, pull over and stop. Don’t do it while you’re driving, save yourself $200,” said Officer Fay.