FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 906
96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES TORPEY (Sponsor), HOSKINS, STREAM, LAIR, FISHER, SOLON, LONG, HINSON, NANCE, McDONALD, CONWAY (27), HUMMEL, SWEARINGEN, ANDERS, JONES (117), ALLEN AND DENISON (Co-sponsors).
2057L.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 304, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the use of handheld electronic communications devices by persons operating school buses.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 304, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 304.054, to read as follows:
304.054. 1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person operating a school bus upon the highways or other public roadways of this state who is transporting children currently shall, by means of a handheld electronic wireless communications device, send, read, or write a text message or electronic message or make or take part in a telephone call, by means of a handheld electronic wireless communications device.
2. The provisions of subsection 1 of this section shall not apply to a person operating a school bus 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 school bus operator and that operator's dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle.
3. As used in this section, "electronic message" means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between handheld electronic wireless communications 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.
4. As used in this section, "handheld electronic wireless communications device" includes any handheld 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.
5. As used in this section, "making or taking part in a telephone call" means listening to or engaging in verbal communication through a handheld electronic wireless communications device.
6. As used in this section, "send, read, or write a text message or electronic message" means using a handheld electronic wireless telecommunications device to manually communicate with any person by using an electronic message.
7. A violation of this section shall be deemed an infraction and shall be deemed a moving violation for purposes of point assessment under section 302.302.
8. Any city or county shall have the authority to adopt ordinances or regulations which are equivalent to, but not more restrictive than, the provisions of this section.
9. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the operator of a school bus that is lawfully parked or stopped.