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Missouri falls short with traffic safety laws

According to an annual report about the status of traffic safety measures among the states, our state is coming up as a little lax on careless driving habits, particularly with respect to teen drivers. The report first compiled what might be called a wish list of traffic laws that many states have adopted, which, in the opinion of the authors, serve to promote safety on the road and reduce injuries. The report then asked how many of these laws our state has actually adopted.

The report concluded we are, first of all, remarkably tolerant of younger drivers. A resident can get his or her learner's permit before age 16, and they also do not have to deal with a rigorous graduated licensing system. In other words, unlike other states, a young driver is not automatically restricted from traveling unsupervised at night or with other young passengers in the car.

Another area in which our state came up short, at least according to the report, is in the area of texting and driving laws. As of the time the report was published, we do not have a law that specifically bans all texting and driving, and the state does not prohibit teen drivers from using a cell phone.

Particularly, with respect to how the state handles teen drivers, Missouri may have a ways to go. As such, Kansas City residents should be mindful of a potential auto accident with a teen driver, and remember that these young drivers remain accountable to pay for any damages he or she causes due to negligence.

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