2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) White
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-7-301, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE PERSONS TRANSPORTING A CHILD IN A PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE TO PROVIDE PROTECTION FOR THE CHILD BY PROPERLY USING A BELT POSITIONING BOOSTER SEAT SYSTEM MEETING APPLICABLE FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS IF THE CHILD MEETS CERTAIN AGE, HEIGHT, WEIGHT OR SEAT POSITION CRITERIA; TO AMEND SECTIONS 63-2-1 AND 63-2-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT AND TO INCREASE FROM EIGHT TO TEN THE MAXIMUM AGE OF A CHILD WHO IS REQUIRED TO BE PROTECTED BY THE USE OF A SAFETY SEAT BELT SYSTEM WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED IN A PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE IF A CHILD RESTRAINT DEVICE OR BELT POSITIONING BOOSTER SEAT SYSTEM IS NOT REQUIRED FOR THE CHILD; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-7-301, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-7-301. (1) (a) Every person transporting a child under the age of four (4) years in a passenger motor vehicle that is operated on a public roadway, street or highway within this state shall provide for the protection of the child by properly using a child passenger restraint device or system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
(b) Every person transporting a child in a passenger motor vehicle that is operated on a public roadway, street or highway within this state shall provide for the protection of the child by properly using, in a rear seat if available, a belt positioning booster seat system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards if the child is at least four (4) but less than ten (10) years of age and measures less than four feet, nine inches (4'9") in height and weighs less than eighty (80) pounds. A child under ten (10) years of age who measures at least four feet, nine inches (4'9") in height, weighs at least eighty (80) pounds, or is riding in a seat equipped with a lap belt only is exempt under this section, but is subject to Title 63, Chapter 2.
(2) The term "passenger motor vehicle" as used in Sections 63-7-301 through 63-7-311 has the same meaning as defined in Section 63-2-1(2). Sections 63-7-301 through 63-7-311 do not apply to the vehicles described in Section 63-2-1(3).
(3) Failure to provide and use a child passenger restraint device or system or a belt positioning booster seat system shall not be considered contributory or comparative negligence.
SECTION 2. 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 * * * under ten (10) years of age who is not required to be protected by the use of a child passenger restraint device or system or a belt positioning booster seat system under the provisions of Sections 63-7-301 through 63-7-311, regardless of the seat that the 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. * * *
(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 the person 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
SECTION 3. Section 63-2-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-2-7. (1) A violation of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) upon conviction; however, only the operator of a vehicle may be fined for a violation of this chapter by the operator * * * or any passenger * * *. The maximum fine that may be imposed against the operator of a vehicle for a violation of this chapter by the operator or for a violation of this chapter by one or more passengers shall be Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) in the aggregate.
(2) A violation of this chapter shall not be entered on the driving record of any individual so convicted, nor shall any state assessment provided for by Section 99-19-73 or any other state law be imposed or collected.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.