Dear editor and readers,

Our country, our state and our communities are facing a tragic epidemic. It’s an epidemic that is killing children, sisters, brothers, factory workers, CEO’s, doctors, farmers, teenagers, police officers, waitresses ..... there is no one immune to this epidemic. 

The truly unfortunate aspect of this epidemic is that it is completely preventable, because we are bringing it on by choice.  The epidemic is distracted driving.

As our crews work on Missouri’s highways and bridges, roadsides, signs, even plowing snow, they witness this epidemic first-hand. Every day. And it’s scary. It scares all of us, because all we want is to ensure our employees go home to their families safely, and just as important, we want you to get to your destination safely.

Missouri is one of only three states that does not have an all driver texting ban in our country. Texting or using a phone while driving is only one of the many distractions we see every day. 

Sadly, we also notice many of our residents not wearing a seat belt. This is another tragedy. Three out of five of those who were killed on Missouri roads last year were not wearing a seat belt.

Does anyone really think texting and driving is safe?

It’s time Missouri has a law that will help reduce deaths on our roads. Learn how you can get involved in this effort by sharing information with your families, friends, legislators, and coworkers.

This information is available from our highway safety division at http://www.modot.orgiBuckleUpPhoneDown/.

Kevin James, P.E.

Assistant District Engineer