Missouri bills address searches, police interaction, motorcycles

December 13, 2018

Keith Goble


Multiple Missouri lawmakers have filed legislation for the upcoming regular session to address issues that cover road safety.

One bill covers the use of ticket cameras.

Sponsored by Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon, SB111 includes provisions to require police to notify motorists in-person who have been charged with traffic violations. Police would have 24 hours to make the notification.

The in-person notification requirement would not apply to data and information collected at weigh stations.

Communities with camera systems already in place would have one year to complete or terminate contracts. At that time, they would be required to comply with changes in the legislation.

Vehicle searches

A separate Missouri bill would require law enforcement to get consent before searching a vehicle or person inside a vehicle during a traffic stop.

Sponsored by Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, HB150 would require the officer to read a statement to the affected individual, and the officer may only perform the search if the person consents.

Each request for permission also must be documented in a written report with specific information.

A report must also be filed out when a nonconsensual search is performed.

Police interactions

Another Missouri bill covers how to properly interact with police during a traffic stop.

The intent of the legislation is to educate new motorists how to calmly approach a situation and to not panic, and also to help them avoid doing anything that may seem like a red flag to law enforcement.

Sponsored by Rep. Gretchen Bangert, D-Florissant, HB49 would require driver’s education programs to incorporate information about traffic stops into the curriculum. Driving examiners would also be responsible for providing information during the skills portion of the exam.

Double fines

A bill from Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, would potentially relieve certain traffic citations of double fine amounts in travel safe zones.

The state Department of Transportation describes a travel safe zone as any area upon or around any highway where a highway safety analysis shows the number of fatal or disabling injury crashes exceeds a “predicted safety performance level for comparable roadways.”

Missouri law sets fines at double for moving violations in affected areas.

SB91 would give courts discretion on whether fines should be doubled for certain traffic offenses.

Motorcycles on shoulders

One more bill of note covers the operation of motorcycles on certain roadways.

SB102 would permit motorcyclists to drive on the shoulder of a limited-access highway or interstate during traffic jams or slowdowns. Specifically, the maneuver would be permitted when traffic is moving below 30 mph.

Motorcycles could be driven no more than 10 mph in excess of the speed of traffic.

The bills can be considered during the regular session that begins Jan. 9.

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