2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Miles, Rotenberry
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 77-7-16, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE MOTOR CARRIER DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY SAFETY PATROL WITHIN THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, ALONG WITH THE MISSISSIPPI TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION, TO ENFORCE THE MISSISSIPPI MOTOR CARRIER REGULATORY LAW OF 1938 AND RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY TO PROVIDE TRAINING TO ITS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF ENFORCING THE MISSISSIPPI MOTOR CARRIER REGULATORY LAW TO THE EXTENT THAT FUNDS ARE MADE AVAILABLE AND TRAINING IS APPROVED UNDER FEDERAL LAW; TO EXEMPT CERTAIN VEHICLES FROM REGULATION UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI MOTOR CARRIER REGULATORY LAW OF 1938; TO AMEND SECTION 45-3-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO FURTHER AMEND TO CORRECT THE REFERENCE TO THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 77-7-16, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
77-7-16. (1) Supervision and inspection of the safe operation and the safe use of equipment of motor vehicles operating in the state shall be a specified duty of the Mississippi Transportation Commission and the Motor Carrier Division of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol within the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. In accordance therewith, the Mississippi Transportation Commission shall promulgate as its own * * * the rules, regulations, requirements and classifications of the United States Department of Transportation or any successor federal agency thereof charged with the regulation of motor vehicle safety and, along with the Motor Carrier Division of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, shall enforce such rules, regulations, requirements and classifications. The Department of Public Safety shall provide training to its law enforcement officers and to law enforcement officers of the Mississippi Department of Transportation charged with the duty of enforcing the Mississippi Motor Carrier Regulatory Law of 1938 to the extent that funds are made available and training is approved under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Mississippi Transportation Commission shall establish a system of reciprocity with other states to facilitate the inspection of motor vehicles provided for in this subsection.
(2) The Mississippi Transportation Commission and the Motor Carrier Division of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol within the Mississippi Department of Public Safety shall have the authority to inspect for safe operation and safe use of equipment the following motor vehicles:
(a) Each holder of a certificate of convenience and necessity, a permit to operate as a contract carrier or interstate permit;
(b) Any individual, corporation or partnership engaged in a commercial enterprise operating a single motor vehicle or those in combination with a manufacturer's gross vehicle rating of more than ten thousand (10,000) pounds; and
(c) Any individual, corporation or partnership operating a motor vehicle of any gross weight transporting hazardous material that requires placarding under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations.
(3) This section shall not apply to the following:
(a) Motor vehicles employed to transport school children and teachers;
(b) Motor vehicles owned and operated by the United States, District of Columbia or any state or any municipality or any other political subdivision of this state;
(c) Motor vehicles engaged in the occasional transportation of personal property without compensation by individuals which is not in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise;
(d) Motor vehicles engaged in the transportation of human corpses or sick or injured persons;
(e) Motor vehicles engaged in emergency or related operations;
(f) Motor vehicles engaged in the private transportation of passengers;
(g) Motor vehicles, including pick-up trucks, that have a GVWR or GCWR of Twenty-six Thousand (26,000) pounds or less, operating intrastate only, provided that such vehicle does not:
(i) Transport hazardous material requiring a placard; or
(ii) Transport sixteen (16) or more passengers, including the driver.
(h) Motor vehicles owned and operated by any farmer who:
(i) Is using the vehicle to transport agricultural products from a farm owned by the farmer, or to transport farm machinery or farm supplies to or from a farm owned by the farmer;
(ii) Is not using the vehicle to transport hazardous materials of a type or quantity that requires the vehicle to be placarded in accordance with the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations in CFR 49 part 177.823; and
(iii) Is using the vehicle within one hundred fifty (150) air miles of the farmer's farm, and the vehicle is a private motor carrier of property.
(i) Motor vehicles engaged in the transportation of logs and pulpwood between the point of harvest and the first point of processing the harvested product;
(j) Motor vehicles engaged exclusively in hauling gravel, soil or other unmanufactured road building materials;
(k) As to hours of service only, utility service vehicles owned or operated by public utilities subject to regulation by the commission, while in intrastate commerce within this state, with a manufacturer's gross vehicle rating of less than twenty-six thousand one (26,001) pounds, unless the vehicle:
(i) Transports hazardous materials requiring a placard; or
(ii) Is designed or used to transport sixteen (16) or more people, including the driver.
(4) Anyone who violates or fails to comply with this section shall be subject to the penalties as provided for in Section 77-7-311, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 2. Section 45-3-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-3-21. (1) The powers and duties of the Highway Safety Patrol shall be, in addition to all others prescribed by law, as follows:
(a) To enforce all of the traffic laws, rules and regulations of the State of Mississippi upon all highways of the state highway system and the rights-of-way of such highways; provided, however, that if any person commits an offense upon the state highway system and be pursued by a member of the Highway Safety Patrol, such patrol officer may pursue and apprehend such offender upon any of the highways or public roads of this state, or to any other place to which such offender may flee.
(b) To enforce all rules and regulations of the commissioner promulgated pursuant to legal authority.
(c) When so directed by the Governor, to enforce any of the laws of this state upon any of the highways or public roads thereof.
(d) Upon the request of the State Tax Commission, and with the approval of the Governor, to enforce all of the provisions of law with reference to the registration, license and taxation of vehicles using the highways of this state, and relative to the sizes, weights and load limits of such vehicles, and to enforce the provisions of all other laws administered by the State Tax Commission upon any of the highways or public roads of this state; and for such purpose the Highway Safety Patrol shall have the authority to collect and receive all taxes which may be due under any of such laws, and to report and remit same to the State Tax Commission in the manner required by law, or the rules and regulations of the commission.
(e) Upon request of the Mississippi Transportation Commission * * *, and when so instructed by the commissioner, to aid and assist in the enforcement of all laws which such agencies are authorized or required to enforce, and in the enforcement of the rules and regulations of such agencies, including the Mississippi Motor Carrier Regulatory Law of 1938 and rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
(f) To arrest without warrant any person or persons committing or attempting to commit any misdemeanor, felony or breach of the peace within their presence or view, and to pursue and so arrest any person committing such an offense to and at any place in the State of Mississippi where he may go or be. Nothing herein shall be construed as granting the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol general police powers.
(g) To aid and assist any law enforcement officer whose life or safety is in jeopardy. Additionally, officers of the Highway Safety Patrol may arrest without warrant any fugitive from justice who has escaped or who is using the highways of the state in an attempt to flee. With the approval of the commissioner or his designee, officers of the Highway Safety Patrol may assist other law enforcement agencies in manhunts for convicted felons who have escaped and/or for alleged felons where there is probable cause to believe that the person being sought committed the felony and a felony had actually been committed.
(h) To cooperate with the State Forest Service by reporting all forest fires.
(i) Upon request of the sheriff or his designee, or board of supervisors of any county or the chief of police or mayor of any municipality, and when so instructed by the commissioner or his designee, to respond to calls for assistance in a law enforcement incident; such request and action shall be noted and clearly reflected on the radio logs of both the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol district substation and that of the requesting agency, entered on the local NCIC terminal, if available, and a request in writing shall follow within forty-eight (48) hours. Additionally, the time of commencement and termination of the specific law enforcement incident shall be clearly noted on the radio logs of both law enforcement agencies.
(2) The Legislature declares that the primary law enforcement officer in any county in the State of Mississippi is the duly qualified and elected sheriff thereof, but for the purposes of this subsection there is hereby vested in the Department of Public Safety, in addition to the powers hereinabove mentioned and the other provisions of this section under the terms and limitations hereinafter mentioned and for the purpose of insuring domestic tranquility and for the purpose of preventing or suppressing, or both, crimes of violence, acts and conduct calculated to, or which may, provoke or lead to violence and/or incite riots, mobs, mob violence, a breach of the peace, and acts of intimidation or terror, the powers and duties to include the enforcement of all the laws of the State of Mississippi relating to such purposes, to investigate any violation of the laws of the State of Mississippi and to aid in the arrest and prosecution of persons charged with violating the laws of the State of Mississippi which relate to such purposes. Investigators of the * * * Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Public Safety shall have general police powers to enforce all the laws of the State of Mississippi. All officers of the Department of Public Safety charged with the enforcement of the laws administered by that agency, for the purposes herein set forth, shall have full power to investigate, prevent, apprehend and arrest law violators anywhere in the state, and shall be vested with the power of general police officers in the performance of their duties. The officers of the Department of Public Safety are authorized and empowered to carry and use firearms and other weapons deemed necessary in the discharge of their duties as such and are also empowered to serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the State of Mississippi. The Governor shall be authorized to offer and pay suitable rewards to persons aiding in the investigation, apprehension and conviction of persons charged with acts of violence, or threats of violence or intimidation or acts of terrorism. The additional powers herein granted to or vested in the Department of Public Safety or any of its officers or employees by this section, excepting investigating powers, and those powers of investigators who shall have general police power, being the investigators in the * * * Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Public Safety, shall not be exercised by the Department of Public Safety, or any of its officers or employees, except upon authority and direction of the Governor or Acting Governor, by proclamation duly signed, in the following instances, to wit:
(a) When requested by the sheriff or board of supervisors of any county or the mayor of any municipality on the grounds that mob violence, crimes of violence, acts and conduct of terrorism, riots or acts of intimidation, or either, calculated to or which may provoke violence or incite riots, mobs, mob violence, violence, or lead to any breach of the peace, or either, and acts of intimidation or terror are anticipated, and when such acts or conduct in the opinion of the Governor or Acting Governor would provoke violence or any of the foregoing acts or conduct set out in this subsection, and the sheriff or mayor, as the case may be, lacks adequate police force to prevent or suppress the same.
(b) Acting upon evidence submitted to him by the Department of Public Safety, or other investigating agency authorized by the Governor or Acting Governor to make such investigations, because of the failure or refusal of the sheriff of any county or mayor of any municipality to take action or employ such means at his disposal, to prevent or suppress the acts, conduct or offenses provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the Governor or Acting Governor deems it necessary to invoke the powers and authority vested in the Department of Public Safety.
(c) The Governor or Acting Governor is hereby authorized and empowered to issue his proclamation invoking the powers and authority vested by this paragraph, as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection, and when the Governor or Acting Governor issues said proclamation in accordance herewith, said proclamation shall become effective upon the signing thereof and shall continue in full force and effect for a period of ninety (90) days, or for a shorter period if otherwise ordered by the Governor or Acting Governor. At the signing of the proclamation by the Governor or Acting Governor, the Department of Public Safety and its officers and employees shall thereupon be authorized to exercise the additional power and authority vested in them by this paragraph. The Governor and Acting Governor may issue additional proclamations for periods of ninety (90) days each under the authority of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (2).
(3) All proclamations issued by the Governor or Acting Governor shall be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State on the next succeeding business day.
(4) It is not the intention of this section to vest the wide powers and authority herein provided for, as general powers of the Department of Public Safety, and the same are not hereby so vested, but to limit these general powers to cases and incidents wherein it is deemed necessary to prevent or suppress the offenses and conditions herein mentioned in this and other subsections of this section, and under the terms and conditions hereinabove enumerated, it being the sense of the Legislature that the prime duties of the Department of Public Safety are to patrol the highways of this state and enforce the highway safety laws.
(5) Patrol officers shall have no interest in any costs in the prosecution of any case through any court; nor shall any patrol officer receive any fee as a witness in any court held in this state, whether a state or federal court.
(6) Provided, however, that the general police power vested by virtue of the terms ofsubsection (2) of this section is solely for the purposes set out in said subsection.
SECTION 3. It is the intent of the Legislature that the amendments to Sections 77-7-16 and 45-3-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, contained in this House Bill No. 838, 2007 Regular Session, shall supercede the amendments to Section 77-7-16 contained in Senate Bill No. 3042, 2007 Regular Session, and to Section 45-3-21, contained in Senate Bill No. 2428, 2007 Regular Session.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.