2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Baker (74th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-3-603, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PRESCRIBE CERTAIN ADDITIONAL EXCEPTIONS TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT A VEHICLE PROCEEDING AT LESS THAN THE NORMAL SPEED OF TRAFFIC MUST BE DRIVEN IN THE RIGHT-HAND LANE OF A MULTI-LANED ROADWAY OR AS CLOSE AS IS SAFE TO THE RIGHT-HAND CURB OR EDGE OF THE ROADWAY; TO AUTHORIZE ANY PERSON RIDING A BICYCLE UPON A ONE-WAY STREET OR HIGHWAY WITH TWO OR MORE MARKED LANES OF TRAVEL TO RIDE AS CLOSE AS IS SAFE TO THE LEFT-HAND CURB OR EDGE OF THE STREET OR HIGHWAY; TO PROHIBIT A PERSON OPERATING A BICYCLE FROM PASSING OTHER VEHICLES BETWEEN LANES OF TRAFFIC TRAVELING IN THE SAME DIRECTION; TO CREATE A NEW SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 63-3-604, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE A PERSON WHEN OVERTAKING AND PASSING A BICYCLE PROCEEDING IN THE SAME DIRECTION TO LEAVE A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE MOTOR VEHICLE AND THE BICYCLE OF NOT LESS THAN THREE FEET UNTIL THE MOTOR VEHICLE IS SAFELY PAST THE OVERTAKEN BICYCLE; TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THAT RESULT IN A COLLISION CAUSING SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY OR DEATH TO ANOTHER PERSON; TO AMEND SECTION 63-3-207, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; 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.
(2) 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 is safe to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except:
(a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
(b) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions and while exercising due care including, but not limited to:
(i) Fixed or moving objects;
(ii) Parked or moving vehicles;
(iii) Pedestrians or animals;
(iv) Surface hazards; or
(v) Any time it is unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway; and
(d) When riding in the right-turn-only lane.
(3) Any person riding a bicycle upon a one-way street or highway with two (2) or more marked lanes of travel may ride as close as is safe to the left-hand curb or edge of the street or highway.
(4) No person operating a bicycle shall pass other vehicles between lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction.
(5) 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.
SECTION 2. The following shall be codified as Section 63-3-604, Mississippi Code of 1972:
63-3-604. (1) When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three (3) feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle.
(2) If a person violates the provisions of subsection (1) of this section and the violation results in a collision causing serious physical injury to another person, the violator shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).
(3) If a person violates the provisions of subsection (1) of this section and the violation results in death of another person, the violator shall be punished by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
SECTION 3. Section 63-3-207, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-3-207. Every person riding a bicycle or an animal or driving any animal drawing a vehicle upon a highway shall have all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle under this chapter, except as otherwise specifically provided by this chapter, or except those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.