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.