HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana is now the only state in the nation that doesn't ban at least some drivers from texting ever since a new law took effect in South Carolina this week.
Department of Transportation Director Mike Tooley said Wednesday that while he believes Montana needs such a ban, the state has never led the charge for new laws regarding highway safety, leaving it to municipalities.
The department says about a dozen ordinances in cities and two counties ban texting behind the wheel.
State Highway Patrol data shows that driver cellphone usage contributed to 1,614 crashes from 2004 to 2013.
Lawmakers have proposed legislation banning the practice in recent years, but those attempts failed to gain traction. Tooley said he expects a similar bill will be introduced during the 2015 legislative session.