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New Mississippi Road Laws

Posted by Vic Carmody | Jul 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

I can remember when Old Sam handed down the old farm truck to my classmate Billy Bob. That old diesel still had plenty of life. However, we all put so much oil in that motor that it could've been mistaken as a mosquito fogging machine. The “unburnt” diesel and “burnt” oil was noticeable on every road we traveled. You know they say it takes a village to raise a child and just about that many of us to feed that belching, smoking beast. Ah, but that old clunker was freedom from our pedestrian days.

Since it took all of us to feed this monster, we all were determined to ride. Just to feel the wind in our hair and be free - the only freedom known to teenagers. Since there was no console or back seat, the only available seating was the bench seat and the bed, of course. We could put four on the bench seat. As for the rest of us… well, with the tailgate up, we could put six in the bed with room to stretch out our legs with our backs against the tailgate body. Yessir, the 60s were truly a great time, notwithstanding the occasional truck rollover. Hay rides, parades, fishing, and camping trips were all tailor made for pickup trucks brimming with wide eyed teens looking for their next thrill.

Fast forward fifty years, and many more rollovers, the pick-up now has a back seat, lots of new sound devices, cell phones, wifi, seatbelts in the front and back, and huge motors that push these behemoths at super speeds. Mississippi has finally decided to require all passengers to wear a seatbelt. Previously, the law only required front seat passengers and children under the age of seven to wear a seatbelt. This seatbelt law effectively bans passengers from riding in the bed of trucks.

On July 1, 2017, new road laws went into effect in Mississippi. First, as I've previously stated, people are not permitted to ride in the back of pickup trucks anymore since every passenger must be buckled up. Second, the driver of a vehicle can now be given a ticket if any of the inside passengers are not wearing seatbelts. And finally, a driver may only be in the left lane if he/she is passing another vehicle or making a left lane turn.

While the fine is only $25.00, these are cases where the driver receives the ticket for offending passengers, and further court costs will more than quadruple the actual fine.

When I grew up – before I55 was built – the travel time anywhere was long and dangerous on our two lane roads. Now that our state has many more four lane roads, most drivers like to simply travel in the left passing lane due to deterioration of the right travel lane. As a result of this new law, unless you are passing or making a left lane turn, law enforcement will now be allowed to write tickets for left lane travel even though this traffic violation will be based more on the officer's observation on how long you stay in the left lane after passing.

Mississippians will have differing opinions of the new laws. Many believe these laws are necessary to keep the roads safe, however, others find these laws to be nothing more than a scheme to take more money out of drivers' pockets. If you have questions about these new laws, please feel free to contact us at our office. You can reach us at 601-948-4444 or visit our website. Also see us on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com.

About the Author

Vic Carmody

Victor Carmody was employed by the Jackson Police Department as a police lieutenant from 1973-1980. With attorney Vic Carmody you get the best defense from knowing both sides of Mississippi driving under the influence (DUI / ms dui) law. Vic Carmody is an original Founding Regent and served as Dean of the National College for DUI Defense 2001-2002. He currently serves as a Fellow of the college and is active as an instructor during the summer trial college at Harvard Law School. Vic Carmody is the only attorney in the state who is board certified by the National College of DUI Defense. He is also the only attorney in the state who owns the Intoxilyzer® 8000 machine and possesses a DOT permit to operate the Intoxilyzer® 8000. He is the author Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence, 1st and 2nd editions, Mississippi DUI: Law & Practice, and the Mississippi Criminal Trial Practice Forms manual, part of Thomson West's "Mississippi Practice Series." Additionally, The DUI Book: Mississippi Edition, written by Victor Carmody and co-authored with Atlanta attorney William C. Head, is in the process of publication. Vic is the attorney who wrote the books on DUI defense in Mississippi! Vic Carmody has handled and tried DUI cases in 8 States and has presented DUI seminars in 15 states and 4 foreign countries. Mr. Carmody is considered by many as the best DUI attorney in the state. He was recently selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Mississippi by The American Trial Lawyers Association. Vic currently serves as DUI chairman for continuing education seminars for the University of Mississippi. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and he was recently selected as a Super Lawyer in DUI and criminal defense by the prestigious Super Lawyers organization. Vic is admitted to practice in all state courts in Mississippi, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Missisisppi, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Come see us in Flowood, at 781 Liberty Road, across from the Atmos Energy building.

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