Missouri Rating: Danger

Missouri falls dangerously behind in adoption of Advocates’ recommended optimal laws, as reported in the 2019 Roadmap Report.

Highway Safety Laws Needed

  • Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Front & Rear)
  • Rear Facing Through Age 2 Law
  • Booster Seat Law
GDL – Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
  • GDL- Stronger Supervised Driving Requirement
  • GDL – Stronger Nighttime Restriction
  • GDL – Stronger Passenger Restriction
  • GDL – Age 18 for Unrestricted License
  • Open Container Law
  • All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction
  • GDL Cell Phone Restriction

Current Optimal Highway Safety Laws

  • All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
  • GDL – 6-Month Holding Period Provision
Ignition Interlock for All Offenders
  • Child Endangerment Law

*States are credited with having laws only if their laws meet Advocates’ optimal criteria

Hot Now: Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

In 2017, 142 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers in Missouri.

The current GDL law in Missouri includes the following components:

  • A three-stage licensing system beginning at age 15 for learner’s permit, age 16 for the intermediate stage, and age 17 years and 11 months for full licensure
  • A mandatory 6 month holding period for the learner’s permit stage
  • A minimum of 40 hours of supervised practice driving during the learner’s permit stage, at least 10 of which must be at night
  • A prohibition on unsupervised nighttime driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. during the intermediate stage
  • A passenger restriction prohibiting more than one passenger younger than age 19 for the first 6 months after licensure and prohibiting more than 3 passengers younger than age 19 for the remainder of the intermediate stage
  • A prohibition on texting while driving for drivers age 21 and younger

These changes are needed to improve Missouri’s GDL law and meet optimal GDL provisions

  • Require age 16 for entry into the learner’s permit stage
  • Extend restrictions on teen drivers through age 17
  • Strengthen the nighttime driving restriction for the entire intermediate stage through age 17
  • Add a prohibition on non-emergency use of hand-held and hands-free cell phones during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages
  • Strengthen the supervised driving requirement

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