Distracted driving campaign targets Missouri teens

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Trauma surgeons, state troopers and the mother of a teen driver killed in a highway crash have been working to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

Col. Ronald Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, urged legislators to make Missouri the 36th state to ban text messaging for all drivers. Missouri has barred drivers 21 and younger from texting while driving since 2009, but efforts to broaden that ban to all drivers have failed.

University of Missouri nursing professor Lori Popejoy described how her 16-year-old son, Adam, and a passenger died in a Columbia car crash nearly a decade ago, likely due to his momentary inattention.

The University Hospital press conference was part of a broader campaign that includes driver safety lessons for Missouri elementary school students.

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