It was good to hear from MoDOT but it’s not enough. Missouri traffic fatalities were down by 5 percent last year, but 876 deaths in crashes is too many.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that for the third consecutive year road deaths have dropped. In 2018 there were 921 traffic deaths. A 5 percent reduction in road deaths is encouraging.

MoDOT recommended actions to take to save lives on roads and to us the most important is: Never drive distracted. Put your cellphone down.

One of the most common distractions we observe on streets, rural roads and highways is using a cellphone while driving.

When a crash is caused by this distraction, a stiff fine and the loss of a driver’s license for a period would gain attention of drivers. Of course, if the distracted driver is killed, it’s too late for his or her attention.

Using a phone while driving is a menace to other drivers on the road. There is no way of knowing but the majority of the calls made while driving are not necessary. We have seen drivers as soon as they start their vehicle’s motor, out comes the phone. It’s a habit with those drivers. That habit must be broken!

Buckle Up Phone Down is a good habit to form. There is no question that lives would be saved with that habit.

It’s up to members of the General Assembly to become united in mandatory tougher laws, such as loss of a driver’s license for a period when convicted of using a phone while driving. That would be an attention-getter!