Red Light Texting and the Law in MississippiMississippi Legal News
The vast majority of drivers in America are acutely aware of the fact that texting while driving is dangerous and therefore outlawed in most states. The laws surrounding texting while you are stopped at a stoplight, however, are far more unfamiliar to most people.
Distracted driving is a term that applies to any behavior or action that pulls the focus of the driver away from the roadway while the car is moving. The wording of most distracted driving laws generates a legally grey area when the issue of texting at a red light is on the table. Most drivers feel that texting at a red light it both lawful and safe because, technically, their vehicle is not in motion as the law specifically states, but is this what the legislators who penned Mississippi’s driving laws really had in mind? Is this a valid loophole?
Is Texting at a Stoplight Common?
More than 50 percent of drivers in the United States read through their text messages or respond to them while stopped at a red light or a stop sign. A survey on driving habits in the United States discovered that:
- 65 percent of drivers read text messages at a stop sign and 39 percent read text messages at a stoplight.
- 54 percent of drivers sent text messages at a stop sign and 34 percent sent messages at a stoplight.
Is It Against the Law to Text at a Stoplight
Unlike almost every other state in America, Mississippi has no constraints on the use of cell phones while behind the wheel, with bus drivers being the sole exception. Bus drivers are forbidden to use any handheld cellular telephones or other portable electronic devices to speak to somebody while they are driving. Mississippi also disallows any driver from writing, reading, or sending text messages while they are driving. Moreover, they also prevent drivers from accessing any social media platforms for any reason while driving.
Is Texting at a Stoplight Dangerous?
Data published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information reveals that texting while stopped at a stoplight reduces a driver’s situational awareness which could cause driving errors along with decreased reaction times.
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