New Missouri Law Bans Hand-held Cell Phone Use, All Ages

bans hand held cell phone use

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a Missouri bill which bans hand-held cell phone use for all drivers while behind the wheel. That now makes Missouri the 49th state to ban texting while driving for all ages, and the 28th state to pass a hands-free law. The “Siddens Benning Hands Free Law” passed through the Missouri Legislature as part of Senate Bill 398.

Current law only bans young drivers from this while anyone over 21 could hold and use their phone while driving with no penalty (unless their driving could be considered reckless).

The new law takes effect on August 28, 2023. At this time, state law will officially change, banning people from holding their phone for anything other than a simple touch. Penalties won’t be given until January 2025. Between now and then, it will be considered an educational period to warn and inform drivers.

The first time could cost you $150 and anything within the following two years could cost you $500. If you cause a crash and it’s determined that the driver was on their phone, he or she could face misdemeanor or felony charges.

The new law is what is referred to as a secondary offense: you must be pulled over for speeding or another traffic offense to also get a ticket for distracted driving.

New Law Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use

bans hand held cell phone use ban texting ban for all ages all drivers state to ban texting

The bill allows you to use hands-free devices (i.e., Bluetooth and talk-to-text features). If you do not use a hands-free feature, you might want to start.

Under the new law – while the vehicle is in motion – drivers are prohibited from:

  • Physically holding or supporting a cell phone with any part of their body.
  • Manually typing, writing, sending or reading text-based messages.
  • Recording, posting, sending or broadcasting video, including video calls and social media posts.
  • Watching a video or movie

The new law allows drivers to:

  • Place or receive voice calls utilizing voice-operated or hands-free functions that can be engaged/disengaged with a single touch or swipe
  • Talk on the phone, hands-free, utilizing features like built-in phone speaker, in-car Bluetooth or ear bud/headset.
  • Send or receive text-based communication through voice-to-text features.
  • Utilize cell phone GPS navigation and music or podcast functions.

Specific exemptions are given for drivers communicating in emergency situations, emergency first responders and other emergency roadside workers, and for-hire drivers.


Siddens Bening hands Free Law Senate Bill 398 hands free law new Missouri bill attorneys

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in which you suffered serious injuries due to another’s negligence, having an attorney who is your advocate can offer you peace of mind during your recovery. Call Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. We have a successful track record of helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve.

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