7 Mississippi Traffic Laws Drivers Commonly Ignore

Mississippi drivers often overlook fundamental rules of the road, such as not tailgating and passing on the left. 

Traffic laws exist for a reason: to ensure the safety of all travelers on the road. Each Mississippi driver is responsible for knowing the rules of the road and obeying the state’s traffic code. Still, many drivers ignore this responsibility and fail to operate their vehicles in accordance with the law.

Below you’ll find seven traffic laws that Mississippi drivers commonly ignore. Read on to learn about them and how you can safely operate your car or truck.

Resources for more information:

1. Mississippi Slower Traffic Keep Right Law: The “Move Over” Rule

When driving slower than the regular pace of traffic, Mississippi law requires you to stay in the furthest right lane. If a right lane is not available, drive as close to the right curb as possible. Unless you are passing slower traffic or preparing to make a left turn, you should stay out of the left-hand lane on Mississippi roads.

Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

Title 63-3-603

2. Mississippi Flow of Traffic Law: The “Minimum Speed” Rule

There is a minimum speed of 30 mph on any federal highway in Mississippi. If the posted speed limit on the highway is 70 mph, the minimum required speed increases to 40 mph. To avoid traveling too slowly, you must move at least that fast.

However, there are exceptions to the minimum speed rule. For instance, you can drive slower for safety reasons or to comply with the law or police orders.

No motor vehicle shall be driven at a speed less than thirty miles per hour on federal designated highways where no hazard exists. An exception to this requirement shall be recognized when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, or when a vehicle or combination of vehicles is necessarily, or in compliance with law or police direction, proceeding at a reduced speed.

In the event a speed limit of seventy miles per hour is established on any portion of the Interstate Highway System or on four-laned U.S. designated highways, a minimum speed of forty miles per hour shall be established for those vehicles having a maximum speed restriction of seventy miles per hour.

Title 63-3-509

3. Mississippi Driving in Left Lane Law: The “Passing on the Left” Rule

The Mississippi code requires that you pass slower traffic on the left and not cut off the other driver. When passing, leave a safe distance and do not move back to the right until you have safely overtaken the other vehicle.

If you need to cross into lanes of traffic headed in the opposite direction, you cannot start the pass until the lane is clear. You cannot interfere with or come within 100 feet of an oncoming vehicle before you return to the original lane.

When another driver is passing you, you must stay to the right. You cannot increase your vehicle’s speed until the other vehicle overtakes you completely.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

Title 63-3-609

No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken.

In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to the right-hand side of the roadway before coming within one hundred (100) feet of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.

TItle 63-3-611

4. Mississippi Rear-End Collision Law: The “Following Too Closely” Rule

To avoid illegal tailgating, you must drive a “reasonable and prudent” distance behind the vehicle in front of you on Mississippi roads  The amount of space you need to leave can change depending on traffic, weather, and road conditions.

The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.

Title 63-3-619

5. Mississippi Mobile Phone Driving Law: The “Hands-Free Driving” Rule

Mississippi prohibits drivers from sending or reading any text messages or using social media sites with a handheld cell phone. But if you are in hands-free mode, you can engage in any of these activities.

An operator of a moving motor vehicle is prohibited from writing, sending, or reading a text message and from accessing, reading or posting to a social networking site using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving said motor vehicle.

Title 63-33-1

6. Mississippi Four-Way Intersection Law: The “4-Way Stop” Rule

If you reach a Mississippi intersection at the same time as another driver, the left-most driver must yield the right-of-way. The vehicle to the right can proceed through the stop first.

When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

Title 63-3-801

7. Mississippi Left Turn Intersection Law: The “Right of Way” Rule

Under Mississippi law, you have to yield to oncoming traffic when making a left turn. If you would create a hazard by turning, you need to wait until the intersection is clear.

Once you have adequately yielded the right-of-way and signaled to turn, you can proceed. Then, other vehicles must yield until you have safely completed the turn.

The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.

However, said driver, having so yielded and having given a signal, may make such left turn and the drivers of all other vehicles approaching the intersection from said opposite direction shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle making the left turn.

Title 63-3-803

Complying with state traffic laws will make you a safer and more courteous driver. It will also help you avoid traffic tickets, points on your license, and auto accidents. Make sure you remember these seven rules of the road the next time you head out on Mississippi’s highways!

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>