There is no doubt that texting while driving causes car wrecks. Another driver could look down at his or her phone to send a text and not notice that traffic ahead came to a halt, plowing into you from behind. And yet Missouri is one of only two states (the other being Montana) that has yet to make it illegal for someone to text and drive. However, in Missouri, if you are under 21 and texting while driving, you could be subject to a $200 dollar fine and points against your license. According to Kansas City Police Department statistics, zero citations were given out in 2018 for texting while driving. Meanwhile, Missouri State Highway Patrol numbers showed the following texting while driving citations across the state:
- 2017 = 63 citations
- 2016 = 76 citations
- 2015 = 57 citations
In Kansas it is illegal for anyone to text and drive. In fact, texting from any wireless device while in a vehicle on a public road or highway applies even if your car is stopped in traffic or at a stoplight). According to Kansas statute 8-15,111, the only exceptions to the rule that you cannot use a phone to write, send, or read a written communication are the following:
- Law enforcement officers or emergency service personnel acting within the scope of their employment.
- A motor vehicle stopped off the regular traveled portion of the roadway;
- A person who reads, selects or enters a telephone number or name in a wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a phone call;
- A person who receives an emergency, traffic or weather alert message; or
- A person receiving a message related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle.
Further, the rules against texting and driving shall not prohibit a person using a phone while operating a moving motor vehicle to:
- Report current or ongoing illegal activity to law enforcement;
- Prevent imminent injury to a person or property; or
- Relay information between a transit or for-hire operator and the operator's dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the motor vehicle.
Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you would like additional information regarding texting while driving laws in Missouri or Kansas, contact Foster Wallace today for a free consultation.