Last summer on Missouri Highway 40, an Alabama trucker plowed into stopped traffic on Highway 40 in St. Louis County killing 3 people. He is now being held at the St. Louis County jail in Clayton, MO after being charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter as a result of the truck accident.
The truck driver was behind the wheel of a 2005 Freightliner loaded with scrap aluminum. According to reports the truck driver was on his cell phone at the time of the incident. Apparently the truck driver was distracted by his cell phone when he ran into and over a line of ten vehicles that were backed up on eastbound Highway 40 West of Interstate 270 in St. Louis County.
The Missouri Highway Patrol report indicates that the driver admitted to an investigator that he was distracted by his cell phone use at the time of the truck crash. Two of the crash victims were from Northeastern Missouri who were headed to a funeral in Tennessee.
The Missouri trucking accident raises the question of whether or not cell phones should be allowed on the road, an issue that has been debated every since cell phones became so popular.
Since 2008 Illinois cellphone laws have prohibited any drivers under 19 years-old from using a cellphone while driving. School bus drivers are also prohibited from using cellphones while transporting children. If a school bus driver is caught violating the Illinois cellphone law then he or she could face a $250 fine. Illinois law does make exceptions for both teen drivers and school bus drivers when the cellphone is used in an emergency situation.
Illinois is one of six states that allows localities to enact their own cellphone laws. Since the summer of 2005 Chicago has enforced a ban on any use of a cellphone without a hands-free device. Under Chicago’s hands-fee legislation if a driver is caught violating this cellphone ban then he or she could face a fine from $50 to $200. However, like the Illinois restrictions the Chicago cellphone ban does not apply to emergency situations.