Senator Greg Razer’s Bill to Prevent Distracted Driving Passes Senate

Thursday, March 30, 2023

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2023

Contact: Tyler Travers, 573-751-6607

 Senator Greg Razer’s Bill to Prevent Distracted Driving Passes Senate


JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation to prevent distracted driving, co-sponsored by State Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, has passed the Senate and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. Senate Bill 56 and 61 would ban all Missouri motorists from physically holding and using cell phones and other electronic communication devices while driving. Currently, Missouri and Montana are the only two states without distracted driving laws for all motorists.


Senate Bill 56 and 61, called the “Siddens Bening Hands Free Law,” in honor of two victims of distracted driving, would enhance Missouri’s existing law, which only prohibits commercial truck drivers and anyone 21 or younger from sending, writing or reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle.


“Regardless of age, we are probably all guilty of looking down at our phones while driving and taking our eyes off the road for a few seconds,” Sen. Razer said. “We know it is a dangerous practice. We have got to unlearn this bad habit, put down our phones and stay focused and safe while driving.”


Drivers would still be able to use the voice-activated or hands-free functions on their devices. The ban would not apply to many electronic devices affixed to vehicles, such as radios and GPS, and some exemptions would be provided for law enforcement officers and emergency vehicle operators.


Missouri motorists would not be stopped, inspected or detained solely for violating this act, and prior to January 1, 2025, warnings would be issued to noncommercial drivers instead of citations. However, depending on the incident and prior violations, those breaking the law could face fines, driver license suspension or revocation, and criminal charges.


For more information about Sen. Razer and his sponsored legislation, visit