Mississippi Rating: Caution

Mississippi needs improvement because of gaps in Advocates’ recommended optimal laws, as reported in the  2019 Roadmap Report.

Highway Safety Laws Needed

  • Rear Facing Through Age 2 Law
  • Booster Seat Law
GDL – Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
  • GDL – Supervised Driving Requirement
  • GDL – Stronger Nighttime Restriction Provision
  • GDL – Passenger Restriction Provision
  • GDL – Age 18 for Unrestricted License
  • Open Container Law
  • GDL Cell Phone Restriction

Current Optimal Highway Safety Laws

  • Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Front & Rear)
  • All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
  • GDL – 6-Month Holding Period Provision
Ignition Interlock for All Offenders
  • Child Endangerment Law
All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction

*States are credited with having laws only if their laws meet Advocates’ optimal criteria

Hot Now: Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

In 2017, 110 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers in Mississippi.

The current GDL law in Mississippi includes the following components:

  • A three-stage licensing system beginning at age 15 for learner’s permit, age 16 for the intermediate stage, and age 16 years and 6 months for full licensure
  • A mandatory 12 month holding period for the learner’s permit stage
  • A prohibition on unsupervised nighttime driving between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (Sunday through Thursday ) and between 11:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. (Friday and Saturday) during the intermediate stage
  • A prohibition on texting while driving during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages

These changes are needed to improve Mississippi’s GDL law and meet optimal GDL provisions

  • Require age 16 for entry into the learner’s permit stage
  • Extend all restrictions on teen drivers through age 17
  • Add a passenger restriction prohibiting more than one non-familial passenger under the age of 21 unless a licensed driver over the age of 21 is in the vehicle, for the entire intermediate stage through age 17
  • Add a prohibition on non-emergency use of hand-held and hands-free cell phones during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages
  • Require nighttime driving restrictions for teen drivers
  • Require 30-50 hours of supervised driving during the learner’s permit stage

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