State Senate bans texting while driving legislation - - Jackson, MS

State Senate bans texting while driving legislation

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Senate lawmakers passed a bill on Thursday that would ban all Mississippians from texting while driving.

Some senators were concerned about how police officers would know the difference between a text and a driver pushing buttons to make a phone call.

"Lets see an officer see me making a phone call, and then stops me. What then do they do if I was not doing anything else wrong," said Sen. Lee Yancy (R-Brandon).

Senator Terry Brown (R-Columbus) raised the issue of enforcement and what will happen with the logistics of how it will work."

"I want this bill, but I want some answers on how it's going to be enforced, how we going to make it work. You know what about the privacy issues," said Sen. Brown.

Judiciary B Chairman Senator Gray Tollison says it's up to legislators to make laws and law enforcement to determine how they will regulate it.

"We're going to leave it up to law enforcement, or sheriffs, or chiefs of police to consider protocol on how they want to enforce this."

Last year both House and Senate lawmakers passed legislation to ban texting while driving to anyone with a permit under 16 years old. 

Senate Bill 2793 would make it a misdemeanor with a fine punishable up to $500 dollars for sending or receiving a written message.

The senate passed similar legislation during the 2010 session, but House lawmakers turned it down.

For now, SB 2793 will be sent over to the House for a vote.

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