Keeping up to date about traffic laws is a crucial part of being a responsible driver. Lawmakers put these laws in place for a reason, usually to better protect all motorists and other road users from injury. By understanding and following these laws, you could reduce your risk of an accident or avoid getting a ticket and paying fines.
In recent months, Mississippi has seen multiple changes in its driving laws. As of July 1, 2017, three new laws have taken effect in the Hospitality State. According to the state legislature, some new Mississippi driving laws include:
If You’re Going to Pass, Then Pass
The first new law concerns slow drivers in a passing lane. We’ve all been there. We go the speed limit or attempt to pass a slow-moving vehicle in the passing lane on the left side because someone insists on going below the speed limit. In other scenarios, a driver in the left lane may drag around at the same speed as the person in the slow-moving (right-hand) lane. Either way, it’s a frustrating experience, but it’s also dangerous, especially for 18-wheelers.
Inattentive drivers cause many accidents. Not paying attention while in the passing lane, driving under the speed limit, and blocking an 18 wheeler often equals trouble, or worse. The new law enacted on July 1, 2017, serves to put an end to this problem by providing a law that more or less speaks for the rest of us when thinking, “If you are going to pass, then pass.”
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Buckle Up, Everyone
The second law is common sense to the vast majority, but some residents argue their generation is simply not accustomed to the “new” requirement. The law requires all travelers in a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt. Gone are the days of reaching across to hold a passenger in their seat, like Grandma used to do.
Every vehicle on the road today is equipped with seat belts, and drivers and other vehicle occupants are now required to wear them, regardless of where they are sitting. The obvious reason for this is safety and to keep drivers and passengers strapped in, preventing them from flying through the windshield.
This also decreases the risk of severe injury when involved in a collision. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected during a crash. Statistics show that 75% of drivers ejected from a vehicle die from their injuries. So, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and buckle up. Or, as Mississippians advertise, “Click it or ticket!”
Ride Safely from Within the Vehicle
The third and final law is one that most residents assume was passed a long time ago. Now, riding in the back of a vehicle —specifically a pickup truck—is illegal. The threat of injury in an accident is increased 100% if a person gets into the back of a truck unrestrained and exposed to the world. Should an accident happen, there is no cover and no safety device to prevent injury or even death.
Severe injuries can occur when a passenger is thrown from the back of the truck, slams into the side, or impacts another object. This could include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCIs), internal injuries, and death. This is not something anyone wants to face with their loved one or close friend, and it is easily preventable.
Never has a person looked at someone riding in the back of a truck and thought, “That looks safe!” It’s best to save the pickup truck joyrides for your low-speed local holiday parades. If not, you will be ticketed, officially, in Mississippi.
When did These New Laws Go Into Effect?
The new laws took effect on July 1, 2017. They contribute to Mississippi residents’ safety and prevent auto accidents or severe injuries should a collision occur.
Safety in the passing lane is important for the flow of traffic in general, and to save others on the road from accidents. Wearing a seat belt, if enforced, will save lives during accidents. Also, don’t ride in the back of a pickup truck unless you are in a parade—it’s about time Mississippi passed such a law.
These are just three of the latest traffic laws passed by the state legislature in Mississippi. It is important for drivers to keep up with the changes in law and carefully follow them as frequently as possible. While many people break the law now and again, minimizing how often it occurs is one way to protect yourself and your family from injury.
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What Happens If You Violate any of these New Laws?
If the courts find you guilty of violating any of these traffic laws, you will be fined $25. While this may not seem like much, suffering injuries or losing a family member because you violated any of these laws is a much more difficult price to pay.
Of course, accidents do still happen. No matter how careful you are, others are not always as attentive. If you were in a crash, a personal injury law firm may be able to help. Most offer complimentary case reviews and represent clients based on contingency fees.
You may have up to three years from your accident date to sue under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49. However, you will want to get started as soon as possible to protect your rights, get your payout sooner, and give your lawyer time to reach an out-of-court agreement on your behalf.
Speak with a Lawyer from Morris Bart, LTD, for Free Today
We have personal injury and accident lawyers serving Mississippi, including Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Pascagoula. If you or a loved one has been injured because of another driver’s negligence, call the Morris Bart law office today. At the Morris Bart law firm, our lawyers provide complimentary case assessments. We may be able to help you seek and recover compensation in your crash case.
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