Purdy council updates traffic ordinances

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

New state definitions adopted in revisions

In a major overhaul of the municipal code in Purdy, aldermen passed 15 ordinances in November changing the language, primarily on traffic offense laws, at the recommendation of City Attorney Darlene Parrigon.

"A lot of ordinances are out of date," Mayor Bo Prock said. "This brings them up to 2018 standards."

Police Chief Jackie Lowe said the changes updated definitions but would not change the way police carried out their duties. In one case, however, involving tinted glass, the ordinance sets a density requirement. Lowe said the city will have to purchase a meter to read tinting amounts.

Lowe read the ordinances and had no problems with the changes.

Council members adopted ordinances on the following:

Careless and imprudent driving, specifying vehicles shall be driven "in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person and shall exercise the highest degree of care."

Prohibiting domestic assault, defined as involving "a family or household member, including any child who is a member of the family or household as defined by RSMO 455,010." Prohibited acts involve attempting or recklessly causing "physical injury to such family or household member."

Property damage, which can be filed against a person who "knowingly damages property of another or damages property for the purpose of defrauding an insurer."

Method of displaying license plates, defining how to display plates "so that all parts shall be plainly visible and reasonably clean so that the reflective qualities are not impaired." Exceptions to display rules are stated.

Violation of a protective order, which would apply if an officer has probable cause to believe a violation has taken place by "an act of abuse and/or any act prohibited by such protective order in violation of such order." The ordinance further states "Every separate act of the party shall constitute a separate violation of the protective order."

Certification of ownership for registered vehicle, referring specifically to plates on a vehicle, stating where plates should be mounted.

Drunk and disorderly conduct, deeming it unlawful "to be in a public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in such condition as to be unable to exercise due care for his or her own safety or the safety of others."

Driving with license suspended or revoked, which combined driving without a license with "acts with criminal negligence with respect to knowledge of the fact that such person's diving privilege has been cancelled, suspended or revoked."

Requiring proof of financial responsibility, listing the proper types of proof acceptable to the court, including self-insurance.

Prohibiting display of license plates from another's vehicle, specifying what constitutes improper transfer, including trade-ins.

Prohibiting vision reducing materials applied to the windshield. Lowe said officers must be able to see inside a vehicle to determine if occupants have firearms and may pose a threat to them. The ordinance set the legal limit at 35 percent or more plus or minus 3 percent for either safety glazing material or luminous reflectance. The ordinance specifically did not prohibit labels, stickers, decalcomania or informational signs, or solar-screening material on recreational vehicles.

Stopping and yielding at intersections and railroad crossings, including street crosswalks, requiring stops where marked or, if not clearly marked, "at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic."

Driving without an operator's license, specifying temporary instruction permits or an intermediate driver's license as exceptions. The ordinance prohibits authorizing persons from allowing others from driving motorcycles whose license "does not indicate that the person has passed the examination for the operation of a motorcycle or motortricycle."

Requiring drivers to yield right of way to emergency vehicles and prohibiting unauthorized use of emergency lights. The ordinance urges motorists, whenever possible, to change lanes when encountering a stationary vehicle. Emergency vehicles were defined. Non-emergency drivers were directed not to sound horns or have front red or blue lights when responding to an emergency call.

A separate ordinance was included on the subject of Halloween, restricting conduct by sexual offenders, specifying remaining inside one's home during specific hours and putting a sign "No candy or treats at this residence" on display.

Several ordinances included the provision that if any part of its language was held by the courts as invalid, that would not affect the remaining provisions.

Aldermen had no problems with the changes, except in one case where the penalty clause appeared to have been inadvertently omitted from the text. All the changes went into effect immediately.

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