State law trumps Willow’s proposed ordinance
A statewide law banning distracted driving passed the Missouri legislature this month and has moved on to the governor’s desk for signature. Last month, the Willow Springs Board of Aldermen considered a draft ordinance to ban distracted driving within the city limits. They took no action at that meeting, wishing to gather public input on the ordinance.
In Thursday’s meeting of the board of aldermen, City Administrator Beverly Hicks presented the aldermen with the text of the bill on the governor’s desk, the “Siddens Bening Hands Free Law.” If passed, Missouri will become the 49th state to pass a distracted driving prohibition for drivers of all ages.
Unlike the ordinance considered by the city, the state law applies only to the use of phones and communications devices and is not a primary offense. Drivers cannot be stopped solely for the violation of this law.
If signed, the bill will take effect on August 28. Citations will not be written until January 1, 2025 to provide ample time for public education about the change.