Distracted driving is something many Missouri and Illinois drivers engage in without really thinking about the consequences to others; but those repercussions can be dire. A car accident caused by distracted driving can be significant, but seems especially tragic since it is also preventable. Now, more Missouri towns are taking steps to enact bans on distract driving. Those who choose to ignore these laws may find themselves facing punishment in the event they cause a car accident due to negligence.
O’Fallon very recently passed a city ordinance that bans several activities that are considered distracted driving. These include activities like grooming makeup or hair and inputting commands into GPS devices. According to this ordinance, those who are operating motor vehicles must not engage in any activity that could result in their attention being “obscured, diminished or directed away from the path of travel or operation of the vehicle.” There are six examples of this type of distracted driving specified, which include writing and personal grooming.
An attorney for O’Fallon reported that these activities are not automatically outlawed by the citation, but that they will provide guidance for the public and police officers and also make it easier for officers to prove distracted driving when it has led to an accident. This ordinance will help officials in accident investigations as they seek to determine—and prove—whether a driver’s recklessness has caused a crash.
The City of Chesterfield, Missouri also recently established an ordinance related to distracted driving, this one specifically aimed toward texting while driving. Under this ordinance, it has become illegal for drivers in this jurisdiction to create, read, or send any text or other electronic messages while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers will still be able to send or receive cell phones calls while driving, however.
There are certain exceptions provided while a driver is lawfully stopped or parked, using certain GPS or wireless communication devices, using voice-operated technology, or using certain two-way radio transmitters/receivers. Those who are operating authorized emergency vehicles, reporting illegal activity, requesting emergency or medical aid, or to send information related to transit or for-hire operators are also exempted.
A car accident caused by distracted driving can change a Missouri or Illinois victim’s life in an instance. A fatal crash can cause particular emotional and financial hardship for family members left behind to mourn. Fortunately, civil law provides the chance for those who have suffered personal injury or wrongful death at the hands of a distracted driver the chance to seek financial restitution in a civil court of law. Please call my St. Louis car and truck accident law firm today at 1-888-586-7041 to discuss the facts behind your case. We are experienced in representing victims who have been affected by distracted driving or other types of negligence that have resulted in personal injury or wrongful death. By scheduling a free initial meeting, we can help you learn more about your legal rights and what steps might best position your case for success.
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Source Article: http://www.semissourian.com/story/2143694.html and http://www.chesterfield.mo.us/12-05-14-ordinanceapprovaldec2014.html