Cell Phone/No Insurance Laws, MakeWay Safety Alerts, David Freese

Cell Phone/No Insurance Laws, MakeWay Safety Alerts, David Freese

July 2023 Newsletter

Rana Law Group Newsletter

In this issue:

  • New Cell Phone/No Insurance Laws
  • MakeWay Safety Alerts
  • Just for Fun: David Freese and the Cardinals Hall of Fame

New Cell Phone/No Insurance Laws
On July 6th, Governor Parson signed SB398 into law.  There are several provisions in the law that will impact drivers in Missouri.First, texting and driving is now illegal for all drivers, not just those under 21.  The law (known as “Siddens Bening Hands Free Law”) also prohibits drivers from holding their phone for voice calls, video or recording.  All Missouri drivers will need to use hands-free equipment if they wish to talk or text while operating a vehicle.  It should be noted that the law allows for escalating penalties for repeat offenders, violations in work and school zones and anyone involved in a crash.  Of note, an officer does not automatically have a legal right to check a phone, especially if it is a non-commercial vehicle or a crash that does not involve serious injuries.Other sections in the bill pertain to vehicle financial responsibility.  Missouri has been modernizing the computer systems for the Department of Revenue that will help crack down on frequent vehicle violations such as failure to register and maintain insurance.  Rather than issuing temporary car tags, dealers will collect the sales taxes at the time of sale and the fees can be rolled into the financing package.  The new system will also electronically verify insurance coverage.  According to the Insurance Research Council, 16.4% of all Missouri drivers in 2019 were uninsured.  Under the new law, if a driver cannot prove insurance coverage within 30 days, the Department of Revenue can suspend the vehicle’s registration and begin prosecution for violation of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.  If a driver chooses to ignore the notices from the Department of Revenue, the law states “the minimum penalty for the violation is $300 and 4 license points”.  This is a severe punishment meant to deter, which means they are tired of uninsured drivers and unregistered vehicles.

Many people will be happy to see a reduction in expired temp tags and uninsured drivers.  However, for those who must violate the law because it is the only way to make ends meet while being able to work, I hope the state also considers increased funding for public transportation so these individuals can safely get where they need to go in a timely manner.

MakeWay Safety Alerts
As most of my clients know, I am always discussing the dangers of police chases on our roadways (April 2023, October 2022, July 2020).  I was excited to learn that a company called MakeWay Safety is testing technology in our area that will alert drivers if a high speed chase or other emergency vehicle response is happening nearby.  The technology sends verbal alerts to drivers near emergency vehicles to give them time to avoid the vehicles or a dangerous situation.  The system claims to be sophisticated enough that it can target only drivers in the path of the danger and can even pinpoint individuals in moving vehicles so that others in the area (including those not in motion) do not constantly receive alerts.  Several police departments in St. Charles County, Jefferson County, St. Louis City and St. Louis County are participating in beta testing of the technology and the company hopes it will one day be adopted by all cell phone carriers, similar to the amber alert system.  This technology could save lives of not just innocent members of the public but also emergency personnel.  I hope to be writing about the nationwide adoption of this promising technology in a future newsletter.

Just for Fun: David Freese Declining Induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame
Who in the world would turn down an invitation into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame (HOF)?  David Freese, that’s who.  David Freese of instant hometown hero fame when he came up clutch with his performance in the 2011 post-season.  Some fans are mad at Freese, going so far as to use social media to voice their displeasure.  One main reason for fan displeasure is the (erroneous) belief the HOF is for the fans, therefore, he should do this for us.In my opinion, for everything Freese did for this fanbase, he has the right to do whatever is best for him.  The St. Louis Post Dispatch had a great take on why Freese chose to decline the invite.  It is worth a read for anyone who is not only a Cardinal fan but also those interested in mental health and how issues left untreated can be devastating in a person’s life.  For those who do not follow baseball or want the TLDR, it ties back to his mental health/demons that surfaced from all the pressure and expectations, which in turn led to a drinking problem.  Freese chose to relocate to another city, in the hopes that he could just be a regular, good hitter rather than THE hometown hero who received a standing ovation each time he came to bat.  It sounds like he finally found peace and, much to the understandable disappointment of Cardinals fans, it does not currently involve such an active role with the Cardinals.  Who knows, maybe one day he will be ready and, much like the way St. Louis instantly accepted Pujols return, Freese will be greeted with open arms.

Case Referrals  

From time to time, clients call and ask which type of cases we handle.  Our practice is built on referrals from satisfied clients.  We know that if we work hard and do a good job for our clients, they will tell their friends about us.  The best compliment from a former client is that client entrusting us with the potential case of their friend or family.  Our office specializes in the following cases:

  1. Personal Injury (auto collisions, trucking, motorcycle, slip and fall)
  2. Work Injuries
  3. Traffic tickets and DUI/DWI

If you know someone that meets these criteria, please have them call our office.  If someone does not quite fit the above criteria, please still have the prospective referral give us a call as we can usually help the person find the right attorney via a referral.

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