Texting while driving might not be allowed in Missouri for much longer. After years of attempts, the Missouri Legislature has passed a bill today that would ban texting by all drivers on Missouri’s roads.

Current Missouri law bans texting while behind the wheel for drivers 21 and younger. Missouri is one of two U.S. states not to ban texting while driving for all people driving through the state. Montana is the other one.

Senate Bill 398 would still let drivers use their voice-activated or hands-free options to write, send, or read a text. It would also allow drivers to make phone calls using these same features.

Exemptions would be provided for law enforcement and emergency services workers.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Nick Schroer, R-St. Charles County, bars police from pulling over a driver for using their phone as a primary traffic offense.

Rep. Barry Hovis, R-Cape Girardeau, supports the bill.

“What we’re hoping to do is, with Missouri being one of only two states that doesn’t have this, is to try to impress upon our younger generations and the people now in Missouri to try not to do that,” says Hovis.

Senate Bill 398 would also let Missouri car dealers collect sales tax on vehicles from the buyers – instead of buyers paying the sales tax later at the DMV. Rep. Michael O’Donnell, R-Oakville, added the item in the bill. He said the cost of temporary car license tag abuse in Missouri is about $40 to $60 million in uncollected state tax revenues. He said the provision could eliminate most of that abuse.

For more information on Senate Bill 398, click here.

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