In August of 2023, Missouri became the 49th state to prohibit drivers from texting while driving. The law is entitled, “The Siddens Bening Hands-Free Law.” The law was named after two gentlemen who were tragically killed by distracted drivers in Missouri.
The law prohibits texting while driving for all drivers, and it also requires drivers to use hand-free technology if making a call or using an app for things such as music or navigation. You may not hold your phone while operating a vehicle in Missouri, which means no scrolling or typing while driving. You may not even support your phone with any part of your body, so get that phone off of your lap.
But the law has its limits. For instance, an officer cannot pull someone over just because the officer saw the driver texting. The officer has to pull the driver over because the driver violated some other law, like improper lane usage or violating a stop sign, and then can issue a second citation for driving while texting. In other words, a driver has to do something else that is dangerous in order for the police officer to give a citation.
Hopefully, this new law will go a long way in deterring drivers in Missouri from engaging in distracted driving with their cell phones.