1997 Regular Session
By: Representative Moore
House Bill 544
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-3-519, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE SHERIFFS AND THEIR DEPUTIES, UPON REFERENDUM APPROVAL, TO USE RADAR SPEED DETECTION DEVICES ON THE PUBLIC ROADS, STREETS AND HIGHWAYS WITHIN CERTAIN COUNTIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-3-519, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-3-519. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person or peace officer or law enforcement agency, except the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, to purchase or use or allow to be used any type of radar speed detection equipment upon any public street, road or highway of this state. However, such equipment may be used:
(a) By municipal law enforcement officers within a municipality having a population of two thousand (2,000) or more upon the public streets of the municipality;
(b) By any college or university campus police force within the confines of any campus wherein more than two thousand (2,000) students are enrolled;
(c) By municipal law enforcement officers in any municipality having a population in excess of fifteen thousand (15,000) according to the latest federal census on federally designated highways lying within the corporate limits; and
(d) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, in counties having a population of fifty thousand (50,000) or more, according to the last Federal Decennial Census, by the sheriff and his deputies on any public road, street or highway located outside the corporate limits of a municipality.
(2) (a) Before a sheriff or his deputies may use radar speed detection devices in a county as described under paragraph (1)(d) the question of whether or not the sheriff or his deputies may use such devices must be submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of the county. The board of supervisors may submit such question on its own initiative, and the board of supervisors shall submit such question upon the presentation and filing of a proper petition so requesting, signed by at least twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the county. The question may be submitted only at a regularly scheduled election to be held throughout the county, and no special election may be called solely for the purpose of submitting the question to the electors.
(b) The election must be held and conducted by the county election commissioners on a date fixed by the order of the board of supervisors, which date may be no more than sixty (60) days from the date of the filing of the petition. Notice of the election must be given by publishing the notice once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in some newspaper published in the county or, if no newspaper be published therein, by publishing the notice in a newspaper in an adjoining county having a general circulation in the county involved. The election may be held not earlier than fifteen (15) days from the first publication of the notice.
(c) The election must be held and conducted, as far as may be possible, in the same manner as is provided by law for the holding of general elections. The ballots used at the election must contain a brief statement of the proposition submitted and, on separate lines, the words "I vote FOR the authority of the sheriff and his deputies to use radar speed detection devices on county roads ( )" "I vote AGAINST the authority of the sheriff and his deputies to use radar speed detection devices on county roads ( )" with appropriate boxes in which the voters may express their choice. All qualified electors may vote by marking the ballot with a cross (x) or check (U) mark opposite the words of their choice.
(d) The election commissioners shall canvass and determine the results of the election, and shall certify the results to the board of supervisors which shall adopt and spread upon its minutes an order declaring the results. If, in such election, a majority of the qualified electors participating therein shall vote in favor of the proposition, then the board of supervisors may authorize the sheriff and his deputies to use radar speed detection devices on county roads, streets and highways outside the corporate limits of a municipality. If, on the other hand, a majority of the qualified electors participating in the election vote against the proposition, then the provisions of paragraph (1)(d) of this section shall not be applicable in such county. In either case, no further election may be held in the county under the provisions of this section for a period of two (2) years from the date of the prior election and then only upon the filing of a petition requesting an election signed by at least twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever number is the lesser, of the qualified electors of the county as is otherwise provided in this section.
(3) The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol shall not set up radar on highways within municipalities with a population in excess of fifteen thousand (15,000) according to the latest federal census.
SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.