Texting and driving now illegal in Mississippi - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Texting and driving now illegal in Mississippi

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Drivers in Mississippi now have legal reasons to keep their eyes off their phones.

It's now illegal to dial, text, post to social media, or use apps while driving in the Magnolia State.

Mississippi joins 44 other states with distracted driving laws banning texting and driving.

"[Texting] is actually almost scarier than driving drunk, because when somebody is driving drunk you can kind of notice from far off," one Mississippi driver said.

Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law in March, but starting July 1 anyone caught violating the law will face penalties.

Fines start at $25 for the first offense and increase to $100.

However, catching drivers in the act could be a challenge for law enforcement. Olive Branch Police Department plans to meet with officers Wednesday to talk about how to find and ticket distracted driving offenders.

Under the new law texting and driving is a civil offense, not a criminal one.

That means all tickets will be handled by justice courts instead of municipal courts.

Several other laws go into effect July 1. Click here to learn more.

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