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Law enforcement will not immediately issue citations for ‘squatted’ vehicles in Mississippi

High riders in Mississippi will have some time to modify their vehicles before being ticketed by authorities.

Though a new law banning “squatted” vehicles or those whose front bumpers are raised four or more inches above the height of the rear fender, went into effect on Monday, law enforcement will give those operating the modified automobiles a few months to abide by the new regulation.

“They’ll be writing warning citations for a little while before they start giving out anything with teeth on it,” Captain Criss Turnipseed with the Mississippi Highway Patrol said on The Gallo Show. “I’ve been on patrol for 25 years now. I never would have thought that we would have to address ‘squatted’ vehicles one day.”

Between the implementation date and January 27, 2025, officers will be tasked with issuing warning tickets to those violating the new law. After the grace period, the following punishments will be levied on perpetrators:

First offense – $100 fine Second offense – $200 fine Third offense – $300 fine and a one-year suspension of the operator’s license

If an offense occurs after five years since the last one took place, it will not be counted as a secondary offense, preventing an additional charge from being added to the fine.

Fines collected from squatted vehicle violations will be used to better Mississippi’s secondary school driver’s education and training programs.

Gov. Tate Reeves signed House Bill 349 into law back in April to keep squatted vehicles off Mississippi’s roadways. The legislation was authored by Rep. Fred Shanks, R-Brandon, following the death of a 6-year-old girl who was struck by a squatted truck in the driveway of her Smith County home.

“It’s an issue. It’s not safe. There’s not good visibility out of those [vehicles]. You’re blinding people with your headlights going down the road,” Turnipseed said. “It’s just getting a little bit out of hand, so our legislature decided that it was time to address it.”

Mississippi joins North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia in barring the modified vehicles.

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