St. Charles County joins several St. Louis County municipalities in making it a crime to text while driving regardless of age. The new law makes it tougher than current state law. Under state law, only drivers 21 and younger are prohibited from texting and driving, except in emergencies and certain other situations. Commercial drivers aren’t allowed to use a cellphone at all while driving. St. Charles will join Kirkwood, Florissant, Manchester and St. John which all have local texting bans. Those convicted under the law could face up to a $300 fine.
Let’s face it, we all see it every day, people texting and driving. So even with the new law, there will still be those that will ignore it and for the some the $300 fine won’t even be a deterrent. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, people are 23 more times likely to be involved in an automobile accident when texting and driving. People need to start regarding texting while driving in the same way that our society regards people who drink and drive.
The solution is ultimately up to each one of us. It wasn’t always this way with drinking and driving. The “everybody does it” attitude and the staggering number of deaths due to drunk driving set social reform in motion with organizations like MADD. And over time, societal attitudes and people’s perceptions began to change towards drinking and driving. Now the same has to come from all of us with texting and driving because people are losing their lives.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident that may have involved texting and driving, contact our St. Louis office for a free consultation.