2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) Dawkins
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-1-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE DEFINITIONS UNDER THE DRIVER'S LICENSE CHAPTER; TO AMEND SECTION 63-1-6, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES BY MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS UNDER THE AGE OF 18; TO AMEND SECTION 63-1-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES BY HOLDERS OF A TEMPORARY DRIVING PERMIT OR INTERMEDIATE LICENSE; TO AMEND SECTION 63-1-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT THE MISDEMEANOR OF USING A WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE WHILE DRIVING FROM THE NONADJUDICATION FOR MINORS PROCESS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-1-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-3. The following words and phrases when used in this article shall, for the purpose of such law, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:
(a) The term "commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Safety of this state;
(b) The term "highway" means every way or place of whatever nature open to the use of the public for the purpose of vehicular travel, and shall include streets of municipalities;
(c) The term "operator" means any person in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on the highway;
(d) The term "owner" means a person who holds the legal title of a vehicle; in the event a vehicle is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale or lease thereof with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, or in the event a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession, then such conditional vendee or lessee or mortgagor shall be deemed the owner for the purpose of this article;
(e) The term "wireless communication device" means (i) a handheld or hands-free device used to access a wireless telephone service, or (ii) a text-messaging device;
(f) The term "911 system" shall have the meaning ascribed in Section 19-5-303.
SECTION 2. Section 63-1-6, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-6. (1) (a) No person shall drive or operate a motorcycle upon the highways of the State of Mississippi without first securing either a regular operator's license with a motorcycle endorsement upon it, or a restricted motorcycle operator's license, except those persons especially exempted by Section 63-1-7, Mississippi Code of 1972; provided, however, that any person possessing a valid Mississippi operator's license issued prior to July 1, 1985, may operate a motorcycle upon the highways of this state until such time as said license expires. Upon the expiration of a license issued prior to July 1, 1985, and the payment of One Dollar ($1.00), the applicant for renewal may obtain the necessary motorcycle endorsement without further examination.
(b) A motorcycle endorsement may be issued any person who holds a valid Mississippi driver's license and meets the other requirement for such endorsement contained in this chapter.
(c) A restricted motorcycle operator's license may be issued to any applicant who fulfills all the requirements necessary to obtain a Mississippi operator's license that may be applicable to the operation of a motorcycle. Such license shall entitle the holder thereof to operate a motorcycle, and no other motor vehicle, upon the highways of this state.
(2) (a) A person under eighteen (18) years of age may not use a wireless communication device while operating a motorcycle.
(b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.
SECTION 3. Section 63-1-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-21. (1) Every applicant for a new or original driver's or operator's license, except persons holding an out-of-state license, shall first obtain a temporary driving permit upon the payment of a fee of One Dollar ($1.00) to the Department of Public Safety and upon the successful completion of the examination provided for in Section 63-1-33 and the payment of the fee for such examination provided for in Section 63-1-43.
(2) A temporary driving permit entitles the holder, provided the permit is in his immediate possession, to drive a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle on the highways of the State of Mississippi only when accompanied by a licensed operator who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age and who is actually occupying the seat beside the driver. A temporary driving permit may be issued to any applicant who is at least fifteen (15) years of age. A temporary driving permit shall be valid for a period of one (1) year from the date of issue. A person may not use a wireless communication device while driving under a temporary driving permit; violation of this provision is a misdemeanor.
(3) An intermediate license allows unsupervised driving from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. At all other times the intermediate licensee must be supervised by a parent, guardian or other person age twenty-one (21) years or older who holds a valid driver's license under this article and who is actually occupying the seat beside the driver. A person may not use a wireless communication device while driving under an intermediate license; violation of this provision is a misdemeanor.
(4) The fee for issuance of an intermediate license shall be Five Dollars ($5.00).
Except as otherwise provided by Section 63-1-6, every applicant for a restricted motorcycle operator's license or a motorcycle endorsement shall first obtain a temporary motorcycle driving permit upon the payment of a fee of One Dollar ($1.00) to the Department of Public Safety, and upon the successful completion of the examination provided for in Section 63-1-33, and payment of the fee for said examination provided for in Section 63-1-43. All applicants for such temporary permit shall (a) be at least fifteen (15) years of age; (b) operate a motorcycle only under the direct supervision of a person at least twenty-one (21) years of age who possesses either a valid driver's or operator's license with a motorcycle endorsement or a valid restricted motorcycle operator's license; (c) be prohibited from transporting a passenger on a motorcycle; (d) be prohibited from operating a motorcycle upon any controlled access highway; * * * (e) be prohibited from operating a motorcycle during the hours of 6:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m.; and (f) be prohibited from using a wireless communication device. Temporary motorcycle driving permits shall be valid for the same period of time and may be renewed upon the same conditions as temporary driving permits issued for vehicles other than motorcycles.
63-1-55. A trial judge, in his discretion, if the person so convicted or who has entered a plea of guilty for any traffic violation, except the offenses enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (e) of subsection (1) of Section 63-1-51, violations of the Implied Consent Law and the Uniform Controlled Substances Law, and misdemeanor use of a wireless communication device while driving, and who is a minor and dependent upon and subject to the care, custody and control of his parents or guardian, may, in lieu of the penalties otherwise provided by law and the provision of said section, suspend such minor's driver's license by taking and keeping same in custody of the court for a period of time not to exceed ninety (90) days. The judge so ordering such suspension shall enter upon his docket "DEFENDANT'S DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENDED FOR ______ DAYS IN LIEU OF CONVICTION" and such action by the trial judge shall not constitute a conviction. The trial judge also may require the minor to successfully complete a defensive driving course approved by the judge as a condition of the suspension. Costs of court and penalty assessment for driver education and training program may be imposed in such actions within the discretion of the court. Should a minor appeal, in the time and manner as by law provided, the decision whereby his license is suspended, the trial judge shall then return said license to the minor and impose the fines and * * * penalties that he would have otherwise imposed and same shall constitute a conviction.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.