Both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature have passed proposals this session to ban texting while driving.
The House on Thursday passed a bill 91-27 to make it a $25 civil penalty for any person convicted of texting while driving. House Transportation Chair Robert Johnson, D-Natchez, said the civil penalty would prevent the offense from counting on a person’s record as a misdemeanor. The Senate passed legislation earlier this session to impose a $250 criminal penalty.
The differences in the bills passed by the two chambers must be worked out before the scheduled end to the 2014 session in early April.
Legislation dealing with driving-related safety issues has traditionally been more difficult to pass in the more populist-leaning House. The House was reluctant for many years to mandate the use of seat belts.