Phone Down. It's the Law.
The Siddens Bening hands free law takes effect Aug. 28, 2023. Under this law, 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; and watching a video or movie.
In the last five years, no behavior on our roadways has become more alarming than distracted driving. Distracted driving can be anything that diverts the driver’s attention from the task of driving. Cell phone related crashes, in particular, are one of the fastest growing causes of traffic crashes in Missouri and continue to increase each year. Furthermore, we know these intentional acts are under reported in traffic crashes, thus contributing to even more crashes than the data suggests.
Missourians have identified cell phone use as one of the most concerning behaviors they readily observe on our roadways. This supports recent data from AT&T that nearly 9 in 10 people engage in some level of smartphone activity while driving. Sadly, over half of the distracted driving fatalities in Missouri claimed the life of another person.