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Understanding Missouri’s New Phone Laws

Missouri passes a new law which prohibits phone use while driving
Missouri is now the 49th state to implement this new phone law.

These days it seems like phones are becoming more and more of a distraction an an overall problem in people’s daily lives whether they notice them or not. People are quickly becoming addicted to their phones and other devices and don’t seem to realize they do a lot more damage than they would like to admit. This is something Missouri has been working on for years, according to spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “The point of the law is to change the driving culture, change that dangerous behavior,” he said.

A very common problem with devices is that is distracts drivers on the road. Even if their destination is 10 minutes away, some people can’t handle setting down their phone until they’re safe at their next destination, and so Missouri finally decided to take matters into their own hands when it comes to this issue.

It seems like phones are being banned left and right, whether it be on the road, at school, or at work. Just this school year the Wentzville School District implemented a new rule that prohibits phone use (2610 Regulation No. 12) in the classrooms. And now phones are completely banned in Missouri while driving until you have stopped the car. After all, one of the most common causes of car accidents is texting while driving. It seems like these phone bans are happening to improve the life and safety of everyone.

This law doesn’t completely ban you from holding a phone at all. While you are allowed to hold your phone while driving, you have to be doing something on your phone to get in trouble, for example texting or watching a video. It is said that law enforcement will start by issuing a warning to citizens when caught on their phones while driving until the year 2025. But after we have gotten used to the law, they want to start fining people for their actions, and the fine is big. It is $150 for the first violation, $250 for the second if it was 24 months after the first, and $500 for the third. However, you get a $500 fine for the first offense if you are on your phone while driving in certain places, for example a school zone or a construction zone.

There are a few exceptions to this law. For example, you are allowed to use a map service like Google or Apple Maps. Another exception would be if you were to call emergency services. Pretty much any sort of hands-free way of using your phone would be accepted, but once you start holding your phone and staring at it while driving, that’s when it becomes illegal.

If you need to do something on your phone for any reason that requires you to grab your phone, you have to pull over to the side of the road before you start using your phone. “You can still use your phone for things like navigation and music. You can still use voice-to-text technology. You can use Bluetooth headsets to talk. You just can’t be holding your phone,” Chabarria said.

The reason for this law is the insane amount of phone-related car accidents. People are constantly checking their phones and not paying attention to the road in front of them, which will cause them to get into an accident. Most of the time, someone who wasn’t even on their phone in the first place will be killed by the reckless driver who decided their phone was more important than theirs and other people’s safety.

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About the Contributor
Rebecca Fike, Reporter
Becca Fike is a senior and this is her second year of publications. She enjoys listening to music, writing, and sometimes playing tennis. Outside of school, she spends a lot of time working or sleeping, and after high school she plans on attending college and would like to go somewhere out of state. She also likes to drink coffee throughout the day, but energy drinks are actually really bad.

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