Welcome to 2015. For many, the new year rings in lofty goals to achieve, personal resolutions to maintain, and renewed energy and focus.
For many drivers in Missouri, 2015 offers new laws designed to prevent distracted driving.
The most in-depth new law is found in the St. Louis suburb of O’Fallon, Mo. In December 2014, city leaders passed the most stringent distracted driving restrictions in the area. They target common, unsafe driving practices that can lead to accidents.
The new law bans actions by all drivers that divert their attention from the road. It mandates, for example, that drivers pull over to fix their make-up or program GPS devices. It doesn’t specifically mention texting while driving, but it’s understood this dangerous practice is prohibited by the new law.
St. Louis Communities That Ban All Texting and Driving
While Missouri law since 2009 bans drivers 21 years old and younger from texting while driving, Chesterfield, Mo. recently joined St. Louis area communities of Kirkwood, Florissant and St. Charles in prohibiting all drivers from texting, regardless of age. Eight St. Louis suburbs in total now extend the texting ban to drivers of all ages.
Drivers on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River recently observed the one-year anniversary of that state’s stringent driver cell phone ban. Beginning January 1, 2014, all Illinois drivers are prohibited from talking on the cell phone while driving, unless they’re using their phone hands-free.
To help limit fatal crashes caused by distracted truck drivers, the federal government in 2012 made it illegal for truckers to hold a cell phone to make a call while driving.
Whether it’s someone driving an 18-wheeler or a passenger car, those distracted by their cell phones can cause catastrophic accidents. If you lost a loved one in an accident you suspect was caused by a distracted driver, you may want to consult an attorney to review your legal rights.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.