Law enforcement on lookout for texting and driving violators

Law enforcement on lookout for texting and driving violators

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Beginning Wednesday, it is illegal to text and access social media or any portions of the Internet while driving.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Officer Brent Barfield said law enforcement is on the lookout for violators.

"We're trying to curb this issue so the phenomenon doesn't get any worse," Barfield said.

Barfield said the law will not be easy to enforce, but they will do it.

"It's going to be a challenge, just as with any other violation, but based on my experience, I have noticed people going down the roadway and actually texting," Barfield added.

If one is  caught violating the new law, the first offense would be a $25 fine.

Barfield said distracted driving is dangerous. He said it is never easy telling a family member that their loved one will not be coming home.

"It's something that I would say is the hardest thing that I've ever had to do. In 2014, I did it 14 times, and it doesn't get easier," Barfield said.

Inspection stickers have also been eliminated, however vehicles with tinted windows will have to get a one-time inspection.