A bill that would have enforced tougher penalties for anyone caught texting and driving has died in the House Judiciary Committee. The author of the bill and local law enforcement are voicing their frustrations. Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal advocated for the bill and asked state Rep. Jill Ford to introduce it. “I’m extremely disappointed that this bill is not going have a chance to become law this year but am hopeful to get some momentum from law enforcement for next session,” said Ford in a written statement. The bill would’ve made operating a cell phone while driving a misdemeanor, and if convicted, drivers would have to pay a $500 fine. As the law is currently written, if drivers are convicted of texting and driving, they face a civil penalty and a $100 fine.
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