2007 Regular Session
To: Education; Transportation
By: Representative Barnett, Clarke, Malone, Thomas, Woods
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-2-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT EVERY SCHOOL BUS THAT IS PURCHASED NEW AFTER JULY 1, 2007, AND IS USED TO TRANSPORT PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS IN GRADES KINDERGARTEN THROUGH GRADE 12 MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH SEAT BELTS MEETING APPLICABLE FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS; TO REQUIRE THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO ADOPT RULES AND REGULATIONS TO ENSURE THAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS REQUIRE ALL PASSENGERS TO WEAR THESE BELTS WHENEVER THE BUS IS IN MOTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-2-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-2-1. (1) When a passenger motor vehicle is operated in forward motion on a public road, street or highway within this state, every operator, every front-seat passenger and every child who is at least four (4) years of age but under eight (8) 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 63-7-311.
(2) "Passenger motor vehicle" for purposes of this chapter means a motor vehicle designed to carry fifteen (15) or fewer passengers, including the driver, 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; or
(4) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, every school bus that is purchased new after July 1, 2007, and is used to transport public school students in grades kindergarten through Grade 12 must be equipped with three-point lap/shoulder belts meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. The State Board of Education shall adopt policies, guidelines, rules and regulations to ensure that school districts require all passengers, including the driver, to wear these belts whenever the bus is in motion; however, a school bus driver may not be held personally liable for the failure of passengers to wear safety belts as required by the board's rules and regulations.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.