Missouri Senate panel approves bill banning texting

A Missouri Senate committee has approved and sent forward legislation that bars all drivers from texting while driving.

Currently, only drivers 21 years old and younger are prohibited from sending cell phone text messages while driving. But the Missouri State Highway Patrol says it is hard to tell how old a driver is if an officer sees them texting.

The Senate Transportation Committee also voted Wednesday to repeal the state law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. However, people 21 years old or younger would still need to wear a helmet.

The committee also considered whether to raise the state fine for not wearing a seatbelt from $10 to $50. That would be the third highest fine in the nation for not wearing a seatbelt. The committee did not vote on that bill.

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