It may soon be illegal to text and drive in Sunrise Beach. Police Chief Jeff Campbell has approached the board asking them to implement a ban on texting for all ages while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Campbell says the ordinance itself, and what it might entail, is up to the city attorney and the board.
The ban would be stronger than state law, which only outlaws texting and driving for people under the age of 21. Campbell says most times he can’t tell if someone is over 21 just by looking at them, which ties his hands in terms of making a traffic stop. This proposal would create a primary offense that the Chief says could help him save lives.
The board’s expected to vote on the proposed ban July 9th. Police Chief Jeff Campbell has reportedly said he feels other communities will follow their lead if they adopt it. KRMS News has been informally polling other municipalities in the lake region. In Camdenton, City Administrator Jeff Hancock says a texting ban has not been discussed. Osage Beach City Administrator Jeanna Woods, likewise, says it’s a decision for the board of aldermen, but it’s not been on their radar and she says it’s unclear if action taken in Sunrise Beach would have any effect in Osage Beach. Osage Beach Police Chief Todd Davis says he would likely be in favor of a ban, but again deferred to the board, saying it would be their decision to make.