Missouri Traffic Laws Lawyer St. Louis, MO. In addition to the standard “rules of the road” and practices that every driver understands are good ideas to follow when behind the wheel, the state of Missouri has a substantial number of laws that govern road traffic. These laws are put into place to ensure that everyone who uses roads–drivers, passengers, and pedestrians–can be assured that they will arrive at their destinations safely and securely. However, it is oftentimes the case that drivers either ignore or are unaware of these laws, especially when they are pulled over by law enforcement and given a ticket for violating them.
At Combs Law Group, we have handled all sorts of Missouri traffic law cases ranging from simple speeding tickets to felonies resulting from car accidents. Our firm understands that the vast majority of drivers follow all applicable traffic laws at all times, but every so often bend the rules hoping to get away with, for instance, speeding or not properly wearing their seatbelts. If you are ever pulled over and charged with violating a Missouri traffic law, do not hesitate to call us at (314) 900-HELP. We will work tirelessly to ensure that your driving record is not impacted by your Missouri traffic law violation and your driving privileges are protected.
Drivers’ License Requirements in Missouri
The ability to legally drive a car in Missouri is not a right–it is a privilege. In order to get a drivers’ license, one must pass a written test, correctly identify various road signs by shape and design, pass a standard vision test (corrective devices, such as glasses or contact lenses, can be worn for this test), and then successfully demonstrate to an examiner that you can safely pilot your car. The state has published a full guide to these tests, which you can view here.
To apply for a drivers’ license in Missouri, one must be a legal resident of the United States and be age 16 or older. One can apply for a learner’s permit at the age of 15, which allows them to drive when accompanied by a parent, guardian, or someone 21 or older with a valid drivers’ license. Missouri has also adopted what is called a “graduated driver license” law, which sets a number of limits on young drivers’ privileges. For instance, drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 cannot drive with more than one other passenger age 19 or under for the first six months of their license, and cannot drive alone between the hours of 1 am and 5 am unless they are going to work. Drivers’ licenses must be renewed every six years, or every 3 years if you are age 70 or older.
Missouri drivers’ licenses can be suspended or revoked for a large number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons for the loss of driving privilges include:
- Being arrested and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Not paying traffic tickets (both for moving violations and parking tickets)
- Not having proper insurance
- Not paying child support
- Accumulation of license penalty points
Points can be put on Missouri drivers’ licenses for violating various traffic offenses. A complete list of violations, and the number of points they carry, can be viewed here. If you get four points put on your license in a 12-month period, the Missouri Department of Revenue will send you a warning letter. 8 points in an 18-month span results in a minimum 30-day driving suspension, while 12 points in a 12-month period means your driving privilege is revoked for a year. Following the restoration of your driving privileges after a point-based ban, your point total is reset to 4. Point totals can be automatically lowered if you drive for a year without any additional traffic offenses, with all points being erased after 3 straight years of clean driving.
Missouri Traffic Laws You Should Know
While most traffic laws in Missouri are obvious to experienced drivers (pass on the left on highways, obey all posted speed limits, and so forth), there are a number of traffic regulations that many St. Louis drivers did not know existed. Before you get ticketed for them and have to call a top St. Louis traffic law firm like Combs Law Group, here are a few Missouri traffic laws that many of our St. Louis traffic ticket clients unknowingly violated:
- Not having headlights on when using windshield wipers. Missouri law this in order to increase visibility on roads in poor weather, both so you can see better behind the wheel as well as see cars in other lanes. With many cars these days having daytime running lights or sensors that automatically turn headlights on, most people do not have to worry about this as much, but those driving older cars should be aware of this requirement.
- Moving over for first responders/emergency crews: drivers must change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or MoDOT truck that is stopped on the side of a road with its lights flashing. If they cannot safely do so (for instance, if they are on a two-lane road), they must slow down to pass the vehicle.
- Texting and driving: Missouri is one of only two states that does not have a blanket ban on using one’s cell phone while behind the wheel. It is only prohibited for drivers 21 and under.
- Seatbelt use: Missouri considers seatbelt enforcement to be a “secondary” infraction. This means that while it is required, you cannot be pulled over strictly for not wearing a seatbelt.
- Work Zone Enhancements: the state of Missouri increases penalties for traffic infractions that occur in a posted work zone while workers are present. For the first time one is caught speeding or passing in a work zone, their fine is automatically increased by $250. Subsequent violations carry an additional $300 penalty.
- Endangering A Worker: this is an additional charge that can be attached to work-zone violations. The list of what actions are seen as “endangering” can be found here. The minimum punishment following a conviction or guilty plea is a fine of no more than $1,000 and four points on your license.
A Top-Rated St. Louis Traffic Law Firm Can Be Your Best Friend
At Combs Law Group, we encourage all our Missouri clients to adopt good driving habits: buckle up, never exceed the speed limit, never drive drunk, and drive defensively. However, we understand that many people try to bend the rules of the road whenever they get behind the wheel, and police officers all around St. Louis are on the lookout for speeders and dangerous drivers.
If you are ever pulled over for violating Missouri traffic laws, call the experienced Missouri traffic lawyers at Combs Law Group. We work with all our Missouri traffic ticket clients to ensure that their driving records are not adversely affected and they can stay on the road. Contact us today to discuss your particular Missouri traffic ticket case.