Persons under 21 are prohibited from operating a moving motor vehicle while sending, reading, or writing a text message. In some cities, including Chesterfield, Ellisville, Florissant, Kirkwood, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, O’Fallon, St. Charles, and St. John, texting while driving is banned for all drivers.
No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.
Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). Utah’s per se limit is 0.05 BAC. All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.
Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.
The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws. NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.
Missouri requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.
Move Over Law
State law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, including towing and recovery vehicles, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, or slow to a speed safe for road conditions.
Seat belts are required for the driver and all front seat passengers age 16 and older.
Violation of the seat belt law is a secondary offense; however, it is a standard offense for children under age 16.
Violation of the seat belt law is a primary offense in the following localities: Ballwin, Bertrand, Bloomfield, Brentwood, Buchanan County, Chesterfield, Calverton Park, Carterville, Charlack, Clarkson Valley, Clever, Cottleville, Creve Coeur, Crocker, Dexter, Doniphan, Edmundson, Essex, Farmington, Florissant, Foristell, Fredericktown, Gideon, Grandview, Harrisonville, Hartville, Hazelwood, Herculaneum, Independence, Kansas City, Kirkwood, Lake St. Louis, Leadington, Manchester, Merriam Woods, Milan, Mountain View, New Melle, Nixa, Olivette, Osage Beach, Pevely, Puxico, Richland, St. John, St. Louis County, Sugar Creek, Webster Groves, Weldon Spring, Weston, Willow Springs, Willard, and Winfield.
Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is not permitted for persons under age 18 on interstates or urban areas; some other exceptions apply.
Child Passenger Safety
Children ages 8 until 16 who weigh at least 80 lbs. or are taller than 4 feet 9 inches must use a seat belt or appropriate booster seat.
Children ages 4 until 8 must ride in a booster seat or appropriate child restraint system, unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches or weigh more than 80 lbs.
Children less than age 4 or less than 40 lbs. must be secured in a child passenger restraint system.
Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.
The driver of a vehicle must approach a railroad crossing in a manner so that he will be able to stop if necessary. The driver must stop the vehicle not less than 15 feet and not more than 50 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad track and must not proceed until he can do so safely if: (1) a clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device warns of the approach of a train; (2) a crossing gate is lowered or a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal or warning of the approach or passage of a train; (3) a train is visible and is in hazardous proximity to the crossing; or (4) any other sign, device, or law requires the vehicle to stop.
No person may drive any vehicle through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing when a train is approaching while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
No person may drive a vehicle through a railroad crossing when there is not sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing.
No person may drive a vehicle through a railroad crossing unless the vehicle has sufficient undercarriage clearance necessary to prevent the undercarriage of the vehicle from contacting the railroad crossing.
The driver of a vehicle upon a highway, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children and whose driver has given the signal to stop, shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by its driver to proceed. This does not apply to vehicles approaching on a different roadway, or which is proceeding in the opposite direction on a highway containing four or more lanes of traffic, or which is stopped in a loading zone constituting a part of, or adjacent to, a limited or controlled access highway at a point where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.