MSHP says new texting law may be hard to enforce
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MSHP says new texting law may be hard to enforce

Date: August 27, 2009
By: Abby Grimmett
State Capitol Bureau

Intro:  A law that aims to decrease the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers goes into effect Friday, but one state representative says it will be difficult to enforce.
RunTime:  0:48
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Drivers aged 21 and under cna no longer text while driving.

But Republican Representative Scott Lipke says drivers using their phone for other purposes will make it difficult for patrolmen to determine whether underage drivers are breaking the law.

Actuality:  LIPKE1.WAV
Run Time:  00:12
Description: If your law enforcement officer sitting on side of the road and sees somebody come by and they've got their hands on their phone, how does that officer know whether or not you're dialing a phone number?

But Lieutenant John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol says they have a strategy for enforcing the law.

Officers will pull people over if they are engaging in reckless driving - which is often caused by distractions like texting. \

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abby Grimmett, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

Intro:  There are many distractions we face while driving. A law that goes into effect Friday outlaws a common distraction, but only for certain people. Abby Grimmett has more from the State Capitol.
RunTime:  0:43
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Drivers 21 and under will no longer be able to text while they're on the road.

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the Missouri State Highway Patrol says they will target young drivers who are using cell phones, but it won't be easy.

Lieutenant John Hotz says there is a strategy to enforce the law.

Actuality:  HOTZ2.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: A lot of time when people are texting they're doing other things that draw attention to the vehicle. As I said, if they're crossing the center line, driving off onto the shoulder, you know those types of violations.

And once someone is pulled over for this kind of careless driving, patrolmen will be able to determine whether texting is responsible.

Out of 22 states with similar laws, Missouri is the only one with an age restriction.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abby Grimmett, Newsradio 1120 KMOX

Intro:  A law prohibiting young drivers to text while on the road goes into effect Friday, but highway patrolmen say it may be difficult to enforce. Abby Grimmett has more from the State Capitol.
RunTime:  0:45
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The law targets drivers under the age of 21. So how will the Missouri State Highway Patrol enforce the new regulation?

Lieutenant John Hotz admits it will be difficult to determine if drivers are under 21 when only making a visual observation on the road.

He says texting leads to reckless driving, which gives a patrolman grounds to pull over a vehicle.

Actuality:  HOTZ1.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: The age part - while that's important for the specific texting law, anyone who's texting law, anyone who's texting and not operating a vehicle in a careful and prudent manner can be stopped for that.

Bill Sponsor Republican Representative Scott Lipke says he hops after a few months of observation, data will show a decrease in the number of accidents caused by careless driving. Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abby Grimmett, Newsradio 1120 KMOX.

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