2020 Regular Session
By: Representative Rushing
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-3-519, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION OFFICE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT TO USE RADAR SPEED DETECTION EQUIPMENT ON COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES THAT THEY ARE AUTHORIZED TO INSPECT FOR SAFE OPERATION AND SAFE USE OF; TO AMEND SECTION 77-7-16, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION TO ENFORCE SPEED LIMIT LAWS ON COMMERCIAL VEHICLES; TO AMEND SECTION 77-7-335, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO ENFORCE SPEED LIMIT LAWS ON COMMERCIAL VEHICLES; TO AMEND SECTION 63-9-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO COMPLY WITH THE UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET LAW WHEN ISSUING TICKETS FOR THE VIOLATION OF SPEED LAWS TO COMMERCIAL VEHICLES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-3-519, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-3-519. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person or peace officer or law enforcement agency, except the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol and the Mississippi Department of Transportation Office of Law Enforcement, to purchase or use or allow to be used any type of radar speed detection equipment upon any public street, road or highway of this state. However, such equipment may be used:
* * *
(a) By municipal law enforcement
officers within a municipality having a population of two thousand (2,000) or
more upon the public streets of the municipality;
* * *
(b) By any college or university
campus police force within the confines of any campus wherein more than two
thousand (2,000) students are enrolled;
* * *
(c) By municipal law enforcement
officers in any municipality having a population in excess of fifteen thousand
(15,000) according to the latest federal census on federally designated
highways lying within the corporate limits.
(2) The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol will not set up radar on highways within municipalities with a population in excess of fifteen thousand (15,000) according to the latest federal census.
(3) An enforcement officer of the Mississippi Department of Transportation shall only use radar speed detection equipment on vehicles that they are authorized to inspect as provided in Section 77-7-16.
SECTION 2. 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, in addition to enforcing the speed limit laws of this state upon such 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 3. Section 77-7-335, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
77-7-335. (1) All inspectors on duty shall wear uniforms, shall have the right to bear arms, and shall have the authority to make arrests and hold and impound any vehicle and the contents thereof which is being operated in violation of this chapter or the commission's rules, regulations or general orders promulgated thereunder.
(2) All inspectors shall have the authority to enforce all of the laws, rules and regulations of the commission, in addition to enforcing speed limit laws on vehicles they are authorized to inspect in accordance with Section 77-7-16(2), upon all highways in the state and the rights-of-way of such highways and other properties as defined in Section 77-7-261; except that if any person commits an offense in violation of this chapter or the rules and regulations of this commission upon a highway in the state and be pursued by a member or inspector of the commission, such member may pursue and apprehend such offender upon any of the highways in this state, or to any other place to which such offender may flee.
(3) All inspectors shall have the authority to aid and assist any law enforcement officer whose life or safety is in jeopardy and may arrest without warrant any fugitive from justice who has escaped or who is using the highways in the state in an attempt to flee. With the approval of the commission or its designee, inspectors of the commission may assist other law enforcement agencies in searching for convicted felons who have escaped 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.
(4) Upon request of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, a sheriff of any county or the chief of police of any community and with the consent of the commission, all inspectors have the authority to assist in traffic control during time of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados or floods.
(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed as granting the commission general police powers.
SECTION 4. Section 63-9-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-9-21. (1) This section shall be known as the Uniform Traffic Ticket Law.
(2) All traffic tickets, except traffic tickets filed electronically as provided under subsection (8) of this section, shall be printed in the original and at least two (2) copies and such other copies as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety. All traffic tickets shall be uniform as prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety and the Attorney General, except as otherwise provided in subsection (3)(b) and except that the Commissioner of Public Safety and the Attorney General may alter the form and content of traffic tickets to meet the varying requirements of the different law enforcement agencies. The Commissioner of Public Safety and the Attorney General shall prescribe a separate traffic ticket, consistent with the provisions of subsection (3)(b) of this section, to be used exclusively for violations of the Mississippi Implied Consent Law.
(3) (a) Every traffic ticket issued by any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, county patrol officer, municipal police officer or State Highway Patrol officer for any violation of traffic or motor vehicle laws, or a speeding ticket issued to an applicable commercial vehicle by a law enforcement officer of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, shall be issued on the uniform traffic ticket or uniform implied consent violation ticket consisting of an original and at least two (2) copies and such other copies as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Public Safety.
(b) The traffic ticket, citation or affidavit issued to a person arrested for a violation of the Mississippi Implied Consent Law shall contain a place for the trial judge hearing the case or accepting the guilty plea, as the case may be, to sign, stating that the person arrested either employed an attorney or waived his right to an attorney after having been properly advised of his right to have an attorney. If the person arrested employed an attorney, the name, address and telephone number of the attorney shall be entered or written on the ticket, citation or affidavit.
(c) Every traffic ticket shall show, among other necessary information, the name of the issuing officer, the name of the court in which the cause is to be heard, and the date and time the person is to appear to answer the charge. The ticket shall include information that will constitute a complaint charging the offense for which the ticket was issued, and when duly sworn to and filed with a court of competent jurisdiction, prosecution may proceed thereunder.
(d) The traffic ticket shall contain a space to include the current address and current telephone number of the person being charged. It shall not contain a space to include the social security number of the person being charged.
(4) All traffic tickets, except traffic tickets filed electronically under subsection (8) of this section, shall be bound in book form, shall be consecutively numbered and each traffic ticket shall be accounted for to the officer issuing such book. The traffic ticket books shall be issued to sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables and county patrol officers by the chancery clerk of their respective counties, to each municipal police officer by the clerk of the municipal court, and to each State Highway Patrol officer and law enforcement officer of the Mississippi Department of Transportation by the Commissioner of Public Safety.
(5) The chancery clerk, clerk of the municipal court and the Commissioner of Public Safety shall keep a record of all traffic ticket books issued and to whom issued, accounting for all books printed and issued. All traffic tickets submitted electronically shall be filed automatically with the Commissioner of Public Safety and either the clerk of the municipal court or clerk of the justice court using the system of electronic submission for the purpose of maintaining a record of account as prescribed by this subsection (5).
(6) The original traffic ticket, unless the traffic ticket is filed electronically as provided under subsection (8) of this section, shall be delivered by the officer issuing the traffic ticket to the clerk of the court to which it is returnable to be retained in that court's records and the number noted on the docket. However, if a ticket is issued and the person is incarcerated based upon the conduct for which the ticket was issued, the ticket shall be filed with the clerk of the court to which it is returnable no later than 5:00 p.m. on the next business day, excluding weekends and holidays, after the date and time of the person's incarceration; however, failure to timely file the traffic ticket shall not be grounds for dismissal of the traffic ticket and shall not prevent the person's release from incarceration. The officer issuing the traffic ticket shall also give the accused a copy of the traffic ticket. The clerk of the court shall file a copy with the Commissioner of Public Safety within forty-five (45) days after judgment is rendered showing such information about the judgment as may be required by the commissioner or, in cases in which no judgment has been rendered, within one hundred twenty (120) days after issuance of the ticket. Other copies that are prescribed by the commissioner pursuant to this section shall be filed or retained as may be designated by the commissioner. All copies shall be retained for at least two (2) years.
(7) Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than Ten Dollars ($10.00) nor more than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).
(8) (a) Law enforcement
officers and agencies may file traffic tickets, including tickets issued for a
violation of the Mississippi Implied Consent Law and general misdemeanor
affidavits, by computer or electronic means if the ticket or affidavit conforms
in all substantive respects, including layout and content, as provided under * * *
subsection (2) or (3)(b) of
this section. The provisions of subsection (4) of this section requiring
tickets bound in book form do not apply to a ticket that is produced by
computer or electronic means. Information concerning tickets produced by
computer or electronic means shall be available for public inspection in
substantially the same manner as provided for the uniform tickets described in
subsection (2) of this section.
(b) The defendant shall be provided with a paper copy of the ticket. A law enforcement officer who files a ticket or misdemeanor affidavit electronically shall be considered to have certified, signed and sworn to the ticket or misdemeanor affidavit and has the same rights, responsibilities and liabilities as with all other tickets or affidavits issued pursuant to this section.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.