2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Formby
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-3-603, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE ENHANCED PENALTIES FOR A MOTORIST WHO IN THE COURSE OF VIOLATING THE REQUIREMENT THAT VEHICLES TRAVELING ON A MULTI-LANE ROADWAY USE THE RIGHT, OUTSIDE LANE BLOCKS OR PREVENTS AN EMERGENCY VEHICLE FROM PASSING OR OVERTAKING SUCH MOTORIST IN THE LEFT, INSIDE LANE WHEN THE EMERGENCY VEHICLE IS SOUNDING ITS HORN, BELL, WHISTLE OR SIREN OR DISPLAYING EMERGENCY LIGHTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-3-603, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-3-603. (1) Whenever any roadway has been divided into three (3) or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, except through or bypassing a municipality, the following rules in addition to all others consistent herewith shall apply:
(a) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.
(b) A vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane upon a roadway which is divided into three (3) lanes except when:
(i) Overtaking and passing another vehicle where the roadway is clearly visible and such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance;
(ii) Such vehicle is in preparation for a left turn; or
(iii) Such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the direction such vehicle is proceeding and is signposted to give notice of such allocation.
(c) Official signs may be erected directing slow-moving traffic to use a designated lane or allocating specified lanes to traffic moving in the same direction, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such sign.
(d) Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(e) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two (2) abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, a violation of subsection (1) of this section shall be punished, upon conviction, as provided in Section 63-9-11.
(3) Any person who, in the course of violating subsection (1) of this section, blocks or prevents an emergency vehicle from passing or overtaking such person in the left, inside lane of a roadway designed with two (2) or more lanes designated for traffic proceeding in the same direction, when such emergency vehicle is sounding its horn, bell, whistle or siren or displaying emergency lights, upon conviction, shall be punished by fine and/or imprisonment of not more than twice the applicable fine and/or imprisonment provided for in Section 63-9-11.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.