GREAT FALLS -
Montana and South Carolina were the last 2 states to not have a cell phone ban law. Now that South Carolina has passed one such law Montana is the only state in the union without the law. Texting and driving, we all know it happens, and as much as we don't like to admit it,we know we are guilty of it ourselves. But did you know that texting and driving has already led to several deaths here on our roads.
"Part of our crash statistics that we gather are circumstances to a crash. one of those is distraction within the vehicle. there is a category for us where we mark cell phone, electronic device a radio or what ever. and the statistic's show that wet had 5 fatality crashes that were a result of some sort of distraction by an electronic device," explains Trooper Shawn Hazelton
With South Carolina passing a law regarding the use of cell phones in the car Montana becomes the only state not to have a law restricting cell phone use in vehicles.
"Specifically we're looking at someone who is using a phone there is nothing that the Montana Highway Patrol can do," says Hazelton.
However if a trooper feels that your use of an electronic device such as a cell phone can cause an accident they can cite you for careless driving.
"We can still stop a person and have to be able to articulate that what their action is, is careless driving, it's not driving in a careful and prude manner," says Hazelton.
So while driving remember to buckle up and put away that cell phone until you get to your destination or can pull over safely.
"Anything can wait. Again your driving a 2,000 to 3,000 pound, basically a weapon out there. And it causes a lot of injury and a lot of damage. And you need to realize that it can be very dangerous. so anything can wait," says Hazelton.
Our director of transportation has said that Montana should join the rest of the country in adopting a texting and driving law.