1997 Regular Session
To: Highways and Transportation
By: Senator(s) Farris
Senate Bill 2988
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-7-301, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO BROADEN THE CLASS OF MOTOR VEHICLES IN WHICH A CHILD BEING TRANSPORTED IS REQUIRED TO BE PROTECTED WITH A CHILD PASSENGER RESTRAINT DEVICE; TO AMEND SECTION 63-2-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE USE OF A SAFETY BELT BY CHILDREN OF A CERTAIN AGE REGARDLESS OF THE SEAT THEY OCCUPY IN A MOTOR VEHICLE; TO REPEAL SECTION 63-7-307, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES THAT A PERSON WHO IS CHARGED WITH A VIOLATION OF THE CHILD PASSENGER RESTRAINT DEVICES LAW MAY HAVE THE CHARGE DISMISSED IF SUCH PERSON PRODUCES TO THE COURT AT OR BEFORE THE HEARING PROOF OF ACQUISITION OF THE REQUIRED CHILD RESTRAINT DEVICE OR SYSTEM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-7-301, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-7-301. Every person transporting a child under the age of four (4) years in a passenger motor vehicle * * * operated on the roadways, streets or highways of this state shall provide for the protection of the child by properly using a child passenger restraint device or system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Failure to provide and use a child passenger restraint device or system shall not be considered contributory or comparative negligence.
For purposes of Sections 63-7-301 through 63-7-311, Mississippi Code of 1972, the term "passenger motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle designed to carry ten (10) or fewer passengers, including the driver, but does not include motorcycles, mopeds, all-terrain vehicles or trailers.
SECTION 2. Section 63-2-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-2-1. (1) Whenever a passenger motor vehicle is operated in forward motion on the highways of this state, every operator, every front-seat passenger and every child who is at least four (4) years of age but under twelve (12) years of age, regardless of the seat that such child occupies, shall wear a properly fastened safety seat belt system, required to be installed in the vehicle when manufactured pursuant to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208. Children under the age of four (4) years shall be protected as required by Sections 63-7-301 through 63-7-313.
(2) "Passenger motor vehicle" for purposes of this chapter means a motor vehicle designed to carry ten (10) or fewer passengers but does not include motorcycles, mopeds, all-terrain vehicles or trailers.
(3) This section shall not apply to:
(a) Vehicles which may be registered for "farm" use, including "implements of husbandry" as defined in Section 63-21-5(d), and "farm tractors" as defined in Section 63-3-105(a).
(b) An operator or passenger possessing a written verification from a licensed physician that he is unable to wear a safety belt system for medical reasons.
(c) A passenger car operated by a rural letter carrier of the United States Postal Service or by a utility meter reader while on duty.
SECTION 3. Section 63-7-307, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides that a person who is charged with a violation of the child passenger restraint devices law may have the charge dismissed if such person produces to the court at or before the hearing proof of acquisition of the required child restraint device or system, is repealed.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.