It is proven that cell phones are the cause of many fatal car crashes. Some are saying Missouri laws are making it worse for the state. While, it is illegal in Illinois to text, talk, or use a phone at all without a hands-free device, Missouri only bans those under 21 from texting and driving. Missouri is one of the four standing states that doesn’t have all age laws against texting and driving.
Many Missouri residents still drive through and to and from the neighboring state of Illinois, and they are cracking down and writing thousands of tickets for distracted driving. Remember to put the cell phone away no matter what state you are driving in. It does not matter what the law is or where you are driving, no matter what, texting and driving is dangerous.
Bills are constantly being filed at Missouri’s capital to ban his issue, but none have gone through. So, what does this mean if you get pulled over or cause an accident in Missouri while texting?
Laws Against Texting and Driving in Missouri
There are currently several bills in the legislative session that address distracted driving, which include:
- Senate Bill 569 – Those over 21 would also be added to the existing ban on texting that is currently only applicable to those under the age of 21.
- Senate Bill 821 – This seeks to apply texting and driving bans to all drivers.
- House Bill 1377 – This makes existing state texting bans apply to all drivers.
- House Bill 1423 – This applies all current bans on texting to all drivers as well.
- House Bill 1542 – This permits only hands-free texting by all drivers in the state, and applies to all ages.
- House Bill 1544 – This outlaws the use of handheld communication devices while driving, but hands-free devices would be accepted.
Even though it has not been banned statewide, some communities throughout Missouri have banned handheld electronic devices. Such as Black Jack, MO. According to this article, fines will range from $1 to $500 at the judge’s discretion, although the Mayor allowed that most fines will likely be on the lower end. This law is strictly for safety purposes. It’s likely that officers will only issue warnings to violators during a six-month grace period before fines are administered.
Even if you may not get pulled over for using your cell phone, texting and driving can lead to serious car problems or injuries. You also can still land you in court for injuries to others or their vehicle. If someone claims you were texting when you caused an accident, you won’t stand up well in court against your opponent. If you have been in an accident or received a ticket regarding distracted driving, no matter the state, you should hire an attorney. Often the right attorney can help negotiate a reduction of the charges, in some cases getting them dropped in their entirety. Don’t try to navigate the criminal justice system alone.
No text is important enough to put someone else in anger. We urge drivers to make use of hands-free technologies and share this information with their friends and family.