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The Siddens Bening Hands Free Law

Connor+May+%28%C2%B424%29+using+a+phone+stand+to+drive+safely+after+the+new+law+being+passed
kyla clayton
Connor May (´24) using a phone stand to drive safely after the new law being passed

There was a new law passed that bans individuals from using electronic devices while behind the wheel in Missouri. The law became effective on August 28, 2023, but law enforcement officers may not issue citations until January 1, 2025. This is called the Siddens Bening Hands Free Law. This law is named in memory of two Missourians who lost their lives in traffic crashes.

“Electronic communication device, use of while driving prohibited, when — citation of law — definitions — school bus operations, prohibited acts — inapplicability, when — penalties for violations — search of device, right to decline — preemption. — 1.  This section shall be known as the Siddens Bening Hands-Free Law.” as it states in the Missouri Revisor of Statutes (8/28/2023).

We were the 49th state to pass this law, the only state now that it is not illegal to text and drive is Montana.

When people were asked if they think this law will lessen accidents over 65% said yes.

“I think this will create less accidents because it will lessen the distractions and cause people to be more aware of their surroundings,” Ava Treadway (´25) said.

Although some said that they think this will make accidents worse.

“I think it will make accidents worse because people will try to hide their phone while driving around cops,” Brady Tebow (´25) said.

People however are understanding about the point of view to make this law.

“I understand this because it will lessen chances of injuries and deaths due to car crashes,” Treadway said.

However there are gaps in the law.

“I have had a phone stand before this law, and I will continue to have one after this law,” Taryn Leblanc (´25) said.

Most teens have learned not to be on their phones while driving anyway.

“I don’t have to worry about my friends violating this law because they don’t get on their phone while driving,” Leblanc said.

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