2014 Regular Session
To: Transportation; Judiciary B
By: Representative Chism
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-1-73, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT PERSONS UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE FROM OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE ON A HIGHWAY WHILE USING A WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE TO SEND OR RECEIVE A WRITTEN MESSAGE WHILE THE MOTOR VEHICLE IS IN MOTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-1-73, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-73. (1) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this subsection, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Cellular telephone" means an analog or digital wireless telephone authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to operate in the frequency bandwidth reserved for cellular radiophones.
(b) "Personal digital assistant" means a wireless electronic communication device that provides for data communication other than by voice.
(c) The term "E911" shall have the meaning ascribed in Section 19-5-303.
(d) "Wireless communication device" means a device that uses a commercial mobile service, as defined by 47 USC Section 332, including a cellular telephone or personal digital assistant.
(2) (a) A person who is * * *
eighteen (18) years of age shall not operate a motor vehicle on a highway
while using a wireless communication device to send or receive a written
message while the motor vehicle is in motion.
(b) A person shall not use a wireless communication device while operating a passenger bus with a minor passenger on the bus, except for an emergency or, in the case of a school bus driver, for official school business or in an emergency.
(3) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(a) Law enforcement and safety personnel;
(b) Drivers of authorized emergency vehicles;
(c) A person who is reporting reckless or negligent behavior;
(d) A person who believes that the person or another person is in physical danger;
(e) Written messages sent or received while the vehicle is parked;
(f) The use of a wireless communication device for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation:
(i) An emergency response or E911 operator;
(ii) A hospital, physician's office or health clinic;
(iii) A provider of ambulance services;
(iv) A provider of fire fighting services;
(v) A law enforcement agency;
(g) The use of technology utilizing a cellular connection to a vehicle to relay vehicle operational information between the vehicle and a call center or repair facility; and
(h) A vehicle navigation system utilizing a cellular connection to update databases and provide real-time traffic information.
(4) (a) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, is punishable by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).
(b) If the person violates this section at the time that he is involved in a motor vehicle accident, then the violation is punishable by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
(c) A law enforcement officer investigating a motor vehicle accident in which a person is cited for violating subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section shall indicate on the written accident report the use of a wireless communication device in violation of this section at the time of the accident.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2014.