One resolution to live by - "No texting and driving"

Northeast Coalition for Roadway Safety Speakers

50 percent of teen drivers say they text while they drive. That's according to the Northeast Missouri Highway Coalition.

Even though Illinois and Iowa have a full ban on texting and driving, Missouri is one of three states that doesn't.

That's one of the reasons why the Northeast Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is taking matters into its own hands.

Missouri currently has a texting law in place but only for drivers under the age of 21.

"Which basically means there is no law against people over 21 texting while driving," says Palmyra Police Chief Eddie Bogue.

Chief Bogue says Missouri's texting and driving laws are not strict enough.

"A young woman was killed in Lewis County a few years back. She was texting and crossed the center line on a two-lane road and hit head on with another vehicle,” says Bogue.

Law enforcement, doctors, and young drivers took the pledge Thursday to support an all-driver texting ban proposal in the Missouri legislature.

"It is really trying to look at things from a variety of angles and not just one because we really need to do it all together to see the decrease in serious injuries and fatalities in Missouri," says MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Kevin James.

Several members of the community shared tips on how to make this habit a resolution to live by in 2018.

"We are encouraging people to refrain from texting and driving by wearing gloves while you are driving," said Sandy Caswell Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician with F.A.C.T.

"I encourage all business to have a policy where their employees do not text and drive," says James.

"As a new mother, I am very protective of my new baby girl. They could crash into me and my new baby girl at any second. This year please resolve to not text and drive," says new mother Samantha Diffenderfer.

"Just like with the new year, people make New Year’s resolutions. We ask that you try and make this a resolution that you won't text and drive that you may be saving your life or someone else’s life from a fatal crash," says Chief Bogue.

Chief Bogue says distracted driving takes your eyes of the road for an average of 4.6 seconds.

At 55 miles per hour, that's like driving the length of a football field.

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