Distracted Driving Laws Differ Between Missouri and Illinois

Missouri has few laws on distracted driving. There is a ban on texting, however this ban only applies to motor vehicle operators that are under the age of 21. This law became effective in 2009. Pursuant to recent report from the Columbia Missourian, very few drivers have been issued tickets for violation of this statute. It is important to note that currently, Missouri has no ban on handheld devices for phone calls. In fact, the statute specifically states that it is not meant to prevent drivers from answering phone calls in the car whether it is on a handheld device or not.

Neighboring state Illinois, has much stricter laws regarding distracted driving with stricter laws recently passing the House on March 1. Currently, all drivers are prohibited from texting/emailing while driving. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from any type of using any type of wireless device and all drivers are prohibited in work zones, school zones and within 500 feet of an emergency scene. Many municipalities, including Chicago, prohibit the use of handheld devices.

The laws between these two states vary greatly. We know many in the St. Louis area travel back and forth. It is important that you know what the law is where you are to avoid a costly ticket.


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