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Mo. Senate passes motor vehicle bill

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – A wide-ranging motor vehicle bill passed the Missouri Senate this week.

It includes a proposal to expand the ban on texting while driving to all motorists. Current law only prohibits those age 21 and younger from writing, sending and reading text messages while driving a vehicle.

The bill was sponsored by State Senator Ryan McKenna (D, Crystal City).

"When I was 22 years old, I looked like I was 14...law enforcement has an impossible job to try to figure out the age of somebody behind the wheel while they're texting," McKenna said from the Senate floor.

The legislation includes an amendment that would eliminate the requirement that each vehicle in Missouri have both front and back license plates. The amendment was sponsored by State Senator Matt Bartle (R, Lee's Summit), and McKenna strongly supported its inclusion in the bill.

"The fiscal note shows that that's going to save the state over a million dollars (a year)...we just talked about this autism mandate which is going to cost the state a million dollars next year...here's the fix to it," McKenna said.

The bill passed overwhelmingly. It now goes to the Missouri House.