Senator Billy Hudson has introduced a bill to the Mississippi state Senate to try to ban the use of new and old cell phones, and any other handheld device, to text or make telephone calls while driving a motor vehicle.
Hudson has submitted similar legislation before but such a stringent statute had previously failed to make it past the Legislature and arrive on the Governor’s desk for consideration, but says that he believes the issue is serious enough to warrant repeated attempts. “It frustrates me,” the senator says. “I don’t know if we’re going to get it done or not, but I’m going to keep on trying as long as I’m here. I just think it’s the right thing to do.”
Although many of Hudson’s legislative colleagues agree with his sentiments, however, many feel that an outright ban on the use of cell phones while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle will be seen as going too far and ultimately just not pass muster. “Generally, the House is a little more cautious when passing laws on cell phone issues,” says Representative Tony Barker.
An unrepentant Hudson nonetheless believes that it is time for Mississippi to join other states that have enacted similar bans. “I don’t exactly remember the numbers, but 30-something states have texting (bans) and six states have cell phones (bans) and we don’t have anything,” he points out, adding that it seems that, as always, Mississippi will be the last to come to the party.