Safety Laws in Missouri

Seat Belts

Missouri law requires all drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts.

If the driver holds an intermediate driver license, all passengers must wear seat belts.

Child Car Seat Laws

While safety belts offer excellent protection for adults, they are not designed to keep children safe in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Missouri law states:

  • A child less than four years old or weighing under 40 pounds must be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.
  • A child over four years of age, but less than eight years of age, who also weighs between 40 and 80 pounds and is under 4'9" tall, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child.
  • Children 8 years old and older at least 80 pounds, or children more than 4'9" tall, are required to be secured by an appropriate vehicle safety belt or booster seat.

The fine for violating Missouri's child safety law is $50 plus court costs. Child safety seat requirements do not apply to children who are being transported in a school bus or public carrier for hire.

Be sure to read our articles on How to Buy a Child Safety Seat and How to Install a Child Safety Seat.

If you have questions about Missouri's child safety restraint laws or wish to schedule a checkup to ensure your car seat is installed correctly, contact the Missouri Department of Transportation at (800) 800-2358.

Reporting a Drunk Driver

If you are traveling on Missouri roads and encounter a driver you believe to be under the influence of alcohol, do not attempt to confront the driver on your own. Since an intoxicated person may become violent, you are encouraged to call 911 immediately to report your location, the make and model of the vehicle, and any suspicious behaviors you have witnessed. Drunk drivers are a serious safety hazard and all Missouri residents must do their part to help keep the state's roads safe.

How do you know if a driver is intoxicated? Aside from actually witnessing alcohol consumption, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the following signs often indicate a driver may be seriously impaired:

  • Erratic braking
  • Tailgating
  • Repeatedly drifting into opposing traffic
  • Nearly colliding with another vehicle or a stationary object
  • Driving outside legally-designated roadways
  • Weaving across the road
  • Improper use of signals


Your headlights are an important part of your vehicle's safety equipment. Missouri law states that you should use your headlights from one half-hour after sunset to one half-hour before sunrise, or whenever weather conditions require the use of your windshield wipers.

Cell Phones and Texting

Although an increasing number of states are placing restrictions on cell phone usage, Missouri has no law regarding the use of cell phones while driving.

The state does, however, ban texting for 21 years of age or younger.


According to Missouri law, motorcycle riders of all ages are legally required to wear protective safety helmets while riding on the state's roads.

Bicycle helmets are not legally required for adults in Missouri. However, the following communities have laws requiring the use of bicycle helmets for underage riders:

  • Creve Coeur
  • St. Louis County for unincorporated areas
  • Columbia
  • Florissant
  • St. Charles

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