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Columbia City Council expected to vote on new distracted driving laws

Drivers in Columbia may soon have some more rules to follow on the roadways.

Columbia City Council will be discussing, and possibly voting on, amendments made to chapter 14 of the city code that includes language prohibiting distracted driving for drivers of all ages, according to city documents.

City staff said the proposed amendments are a part of the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan, in which the goal is to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injury crashes by the year 2030.

The second part of the plan includes introducing “an ordinance to amend chapter 14 of the City Code of Ordinances to ban texting and driving in the City of Columbia for all drivers.”

The proposed amended language is more specific about what distracted driving includes, according to city documents.

The following items are what the council will be voting on adding to the city code to prohibit distracted driving:

Using a mirror to engage in grooming Reading anything located in the vehicle other than the operation information displayed on vehicle gauges and equipment Writing or drawing Manually inputting information into a GPS or mapping device Turning one’s head substantially away from the path of travel to observe things in the vehicle or outside the vehicle but contrary to the path of travel

According to Missouri State Law, distracted driving is prohibited for drivers under the age of 21.

The City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

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