JEFFERSON CITY - As state legislators began prefiling bills Tuesday, patterns emerged suggesting which issues will dominate the upcoming legislative session.
Texting while driving, an issue that was discussed at length last session, could become universally illegal if a few representatives have their way.
Two proposals to prohibit texting while driving in Missouri were filed Tuesday by state representatives. If passed, the bills would extend the law banning texting by drivers 21 and under to apply to all motorists.
During the previous legislative session, a bill to ban texting while driving was passed in a compromise. The final version of the bill, which was signed into law in September, prohibited only drivers ages 16 to 21 from text messaging while driving.
A co-sponsor of one of the bills, Rep. Linda Fischer, D-Bonne Terre, said the current law needs revision.
"The act of texting is not age relevant as far as the potential to be involved in or create an accident," she said.
The two new bills vary only slightly. One would prohibit all texting while driving, while the other would ban the act of texting only for motorists on paved roads.
Rep. J.C. Kuessner, D-Eminence, who is co-sponsoring the bill with Fischer to ban texting with driving on paved roads, explained that the bill would allow motorists to pull over to text.
Other prefiled legislation proposed:
Additional reporting by Sarah D. Wire