Want to avoid those annoying tickets?
Don’t want to get in trouble with the law?
Trying to be the safest driver out there?
Then it’s important to understand and follow the Mississippi road rules.
But how can you do that if you don’t know what the laws are?
We’re here to help.
Today, we’re going to walk you through the Mississippi rules of the road. We’ll look at:
- Cell phone laws
- Parking laws
- Speed limits
- Seat belt law
- Car seat laws
- School bus laws
Let’s get started!
Mississippi Cell Phone Law
Unlike other states, using a cell phone or any handheld electronic mobile device is NOT fully illegal in Mississippi.
It’s only illegal if you’re driving and you use your cell phone to:
- Text, read, or send messages
- Access social media networks
- Post something on social media
However, you are still allowed to make or take phone calls. This means that if someone calls you while you’re driving, you can hold onto your phone and take the call.
That said, cell phone use is considered a distraction. So to be safe, it’s best to avoid using it while behind the wheel. Always keep your hands on the steering wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind on the driving task.
Are there any exceptions?
According to the law, you can use your cell phone if:
- You are texting about an emergency, crime, or accident
- You are texting by using a hands-free device or voice control
- You are sending messages related to navigating your vehicle
What happens if you violate this law?
You will receive a ticket and a $100 fine. If texting and driving lead to injuries or death, your penalty can be reckless driving or a conviction.
Mississippi Parking Laws
No, you can’t just pull over and park on any roadway.
In Mississippi, you are prohibited to park in these areas:
- On any sidewalk.
- In front of a public or private driveway.
- Within an intersection and 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.
- On a crosswalk.
- Within 30 feet of any flashing beacon, stop sign, or roads controlled with a traffic signal.
- Within 15 feet of the nearest rail or railroad crossing.
- Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless a traffic authority indicates a different distance from the safety zone.
- Within 20 feet of a driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of the street opposite a fire station, or within 75 feet from a posting.
- Alongside or opposite a street excavation or obstruction, especially when parking, stopping, or standing blocks traffic.
- On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the curb.
- On any bridge or elevated structure in a highway or tunnel.
- In areas where there are signs that prohibit parking.
Illegal parking will result in a ticket. The ticket, however, won’t be necessarily addressed to anybody since it won’t have a name.
As long as there is a ticket attached to the vehicle, it is going to be answered by the person who illegally parked in the area. If the person who parked the vehicle is unknown, the owner of the vehicle will have to settle the ticket.
Mississippi Speed Limits
Depending on where you are and what type of vehicle you’re operating, the speed limit you need to follow will vary.
Here are the speed limits for passenger automobiles, buses (except school buses), and 1-2-ton unloaded trucks:
|Road Type:||Min Speed:||Max Speed:|
|Interstates||40 mph||70 mph|
|Four-lane highways||40 mph||60 mph|
|Two-lane highways||55 mph|
|Natchez Trace Parkway||50 mph|
Here are the speed limits for 1-2-ton loaded trucks and greater than 2-ton trucks whether loaded or unloaded:
|Road Type:||Max Speed:|
|All other highways||55 mph|
|Inclement weather/bad visibility||45 mph|
School buses, on the other hand, are only allowed to have a maximum speed of 45 mph on all roads.
If you are passing a school zone, you are required to have a 15 mph speed regardless of your vehicle type.
Just like a parking violation, a speed limit violation results in a ticket. Ticket fines will range from $150 – $300. If you violate the speed limit in a school zone, an added penalty or offense can be placed on your driving record.
Mississippi Seat Belt Law
Seat belts prevent severe injuries, and even save lives, during a car accident.
This is why, in Mississippi, drivers and all front-seat passengers are required to wear seat belts.
The seat belt law is a primary law in Mississippi, which means that a police officer can stop you if they find you not wearing a seatbelt. They don’t need another reason to stop you (unlike secondary laws).
Violators of the seat belt law will be fined $25 and be charged with a misdemeanor.
Mississippi Car Seat Laws
By law, a car seat is required for children under 4 years old. However, it’s highly recommended that you place your child in a car seat for as long as the car seat manufacturer allows it.
In other words, even if your child is older than 4 years old but their weight is still within the car seat manufacturer’s guidelines, then it’s best to still use the car seat.
If the child is between 4-7 years old, measures less than 4’9, and weighs less than 65 pounds, they are required to be in a booster seat.
Now, if the child is taller than the height requirement or heavier than the weight requirement, they can switch to a regular seat belt.
Just like the seat belt law, violations of the car seat laws will result in a $25 fine and a misdemeanor.
Mississippi School Bus Laws
In Mississippi, you are required to yield to a school bus if:
- The red flashing lights are turned on
- A stop sign is extended
You must make a complete stop within 10 feet of the school bus and remain stopped until the school bus’ red flashing lights are turned off and the stop sign is removed.
It’s best to wait for the school bus to resume movement before you go.
These laws apply to vehicles that are driving in the same AND opposite direction as the school bus. If you are traveling in the opposite direction, you can only stop if there is a divided highway between you and the school bus.
What’s more, you don’t need to stop if the school bus stops at a loading area where pedestrians are not allowed to cross the road.
Penalties for violating the Mississippi school bus laws are harsh. These include:
- First offense – fine of $350-$750, imprisonment for not more than a year, or both. You will also be charged with a misdemeanor.
- Second and subsequent offenses – fine of $750-$1,500, imprisonment not more than one year, or both. Your license will also be suspended for 90 days.
So that was your guide to the Mississippi rules of the road.
Remember, if you want to avoid tickets, fines, and violations, then it’s important to keep these laws in mind. It’s even more important to follow them.
And, of course, it’s not just about the penalties… Following these laws will ensure that you, your passengers, and everyone around are safe.
Be a responsible driver!