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Law banning cell phone use while driving goes into effect Monday in Missouri

A person holds a cellphone inside a car
A person holds a cellphone inside a car

The new law is a secondary one, meaning a driver can't be pulled over just for using a cellphone.

Starting Monday, August 28, it’s illegal to hold or support a cell phone while driving in the State of Missouri.

Senate Bill 398 creates the Siddens Bening Hands Free Law.

Drivers are allowed to use Bluetooth or voice-activated features while driving. But they can’t type, write, send or read texts on a cell phone. The law also says drivers cannot watch, record, post, send or broadcast a video.

The fine is $150 for the first conviction, up to $250 for the second and up to $500 for the third.

No one can be pulled over just for using a cell phone while driving – but they can be ticketed for violation of the law if they’re stopped for something else.

During a grace period that goes through January 1, 2025, law enforcement officers will only issue warnings – not citations.

Phones can still be used to report a crime, a medical emergency or a traffic crash.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.