Unfortunately, Missouri is one of eleven states that do not have legislation which bans all drivers from texting and driving.
Current Missouri law regarding texting and driving reads in part that:
“Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person twenty-one years of age or younger operating a moving motor vehicle upon the highways of this state shall, by means of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device, send, read, or write a text message or electronic message.” RSMO Chapter 304 Traffic Regulations Section 304.820
As a result, this law puts an arbitrary age on texting and driving in the State of Missouri and makes it almost impossible for law enforcement officials to enforce.
The State of Illinois has recently passed a texting and driving ban. Many attempts have been made to ban texting and driving for all Missouri drivers, but as of the publishing of this post, none have been successful in passing the Missouri legislature. However, this hasn’t stopped MODOT and The Missouri State Highway Patrol from kick-starting public awareness campaigns about the dangers of texting and driving.
According to data from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, “cell phone usage while driving contributed to more than 1,780 traffic crashes in Missouri in 2009, more than any other form of distracted driving. In the first half of 2010, there were 791 traffic crashes related to the use of cell phones behind the wheel resulting in eight fatalities and 239 injuries. Additionally, in this same time period, there were 17,535 crashes where distracted driving has been cited as a contributing cause.” Missouri’s relaxed texting and driving laws have created an environment that makes drivers 21 and under feel that they won’t get caught. Missouri’s lax laws have also led to these tragic auto collisions.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made recommendations for a nation-wide ban on texting and driving after studying a collision in Missouri as a result of 19 year old texting behind the wheel. It is imperative to the safety of Missouri drivers that no one should send a text from behind the wheel of an automobile.
If you have been injured by a driver who was texting and driving, call our firm today at 314-862-7222 to protect your legal rights.