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St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Erik M. Lunsford) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT, Associated Press
In this Aug. 6, 2010 photo, Sgt. Andrew Mallery of the Missouri Highway Patrol, center, with arm up, briefs members of the National Transportation Safety Board on Interstate 44 at the scene of a fatal school bus crash near Gray Summit, Mo. Citing the wreck, in which investigators say the 19-year-old pickup driver was texting, federal transportation leaders this week pressed states to ban cell phone use by drivers. Despite the dangers, states appear unlikely to oblige.

ST. LOUIS — After a texting teenager caused a fatal Missouri pileup involving two school buses, state lawmakers had a chance to toughen restrictions on driver cellphone use. It got filibustered.

The National Transportation Safety Board is citing that accident to call for an all-out ban on cellphone use by drivers — even hands-free devices.

Lawmakers give the proposal little chance at state capitols. While acknowledging safety concerns, they're wary of inconveniencing commuters and say a ban would be a deep government intrusion. Others say you can't legislate against every distraction and it would be unenforceable.

No state bans the use of hands-free devices for all drivers. Even in Missouri, where the bus crash occurred, the lawmaker who tried to broaden the texting ban believes a full-blown cellphone prohibition goes too far.