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Parents of teen killed while texting and driving push on Today show for ban

Parents of teen killed while texting and driving push on Today show for ban

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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BOISE — Taylor Sauer posted on Facebook that she had to stop writing because she was driving. Moments later, the Utah State University student crashed into a semitrailer near Mountain Home, Idaho, and was killed instantly.

Now her parents, Clay and Shana Sauer, want to ban texting and driving in their state. The family recently testified before the Idaho Legislature, which is considering a bill to ban texting while driving.

Taylor Sauer, 18, from Caldwell, Idaho, was returning home after dropping a friend off at the USU campus in Logan on Jan. 14. Investigators say in the final minutes of her life, Sauer was chatting on Facebook. She had posted on her wall, "I can't discuss this matter now. Driving and Facebooking is not safe. ha ha."

Investigators say she was traveling 88 mph when she crashed into a slow-moving semitrailer on I-84 in Idaho. They also say she was sending one text about every minute during her long drive home.

Her parents want to make sure that their daughter’s last words are not forgotten. Idaho is one of 13 states that does not have a complete ban on texting. Clay Sauer, Taylor’s father, said on the "Today" Show that every state should do it.

“Part of this law is it might not make changes right now,” he said. “But for the younger generations it will be an educational tool, just like the seat belts. We all fought the seat belts, but now all kids wear their seat belts, everybody wears a seat belt. The kids will be trained and learn from a young age they can't text and drive.”

The bill passed the Senate in Idaho and will go before the House for a vote Tuesday or Wednesday.

“I don’t know if it would have saved Taylor,” Shauna Sauer said to NBC News while holding back tears, “but I know it will save the younger ones that grow up with it being a law."

Idaho does have an inattentive driving law, but drivers can’t be pulled over for texting unless they are violating another law at the same time. The other states with no complete ban on texting and driving are: Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Missouri, South Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Thirty-five states, including Utah, ban text messaging while driving.

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