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(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person 21 years of age or younger operating a moving motor vehicle upon the highways of this state shall, by means of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device, send, read, or write a text message or electronic message.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle while using a hand-held mobile telephone.
(C) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to send, read, or write a text message or electronic message.
(D) The provisions of divisions (A) through (C) of this section shall not apply to a person operating:
(1) An authorized emergency vehicle; or
(2) A moving motor vehicle while using a handheld electronic wireless communications device to:
(a) Report illegal activity;
(b) Summon medical or other emergency help;
(c) Prevent injury to a person or property; or
(d) Relay information between a transit or for-hire operator and that operator’s dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle.
(E) Nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted as prohibiting a person from making or taking part in a telephone call by means of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle upon the highways of this state.
(F) For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ELECTRONIC MESSAGE. A self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between handheld electronic wireless communication devices. ELECTRONIC MESSAGE includes, but is not limited to, electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, or a command or request to access an internet site.
HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE. Any hand- held cellular phone, palm pilot, Blackberry, or other mobile electronic device used to communicate verbally or by text or electronic messaging, but shall not apply to any device that is permanently embedded into the architecture and design of the motor vehicle.
MAKING OR TAKING PART IN A TELEPHONE CALL. Listening to or engaging in verbal communication through a hand-held electronic wireless communication device.
SEND, READ, OR WRITE A TEXT MESSAGE OR ELECTRONIC MESSAGE. Using a hand-held electronic wireless telecommunications device to manually communicate with any person by using an electronic message. Sending, reading, or writing a text message or electronic message does not include reading, selecting, or entering a phone number or name into a hand-held electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making a telephone call.
(G) A violation of this section shall be deemed an infraction and shall be deemed a moving violation for purposes of point assessment under RSMo. § 302.302.
(H) The state preempts the field of regulating the use of hand-held electronic wireless communications devices in motor vehicles, and the provisions of this section shall supersede any local laws, ordinances, orders, rules, or regulations enacted by a county, municipality, or other political subdivision to regulate the use of hand-held electronic wireless communication devices by the operator of a motor vehicle.
(I) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(1) The operator of a vehicle that is lawfully parked or stopped;
(2) Any of the following while in the performance of their official duties: a law enforcement officer, a member of a fire department, or the operator of a public or private ambulance;
(3) The use of factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system;
(4) The use of voice-operated technology; and
(5) The use of two-way radio transmitters or receivers by a licensee of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service.
(Ord. 18-001, passed 9-6-2018)