Starting July first Mississippians will be banned from texting while driving. The new law is designed to protect and bring awareness to residents about the dangers of distracted driving.
Mississippi is the 45th state to ban texting while driving. According to the Center for Mississippi Health Policy, distracted driving is the leading cause of death for Mississippians under the age of 45.
Mitchell Stringer is a senior at Hillcrest Christian School in south Jackson. He said he was almost in an accident while texting and driving.
"I had some close calls I guess you can say," Stringer said. "Like when people break in front of me and I 'm looking at my phone, I think that they are going straight ahead and they just slow down and stop and I almost just hit them a couple of times. It’s nothing like serious, I guess."
Colonel Donnell Berry, the Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol said a lot of accidents are due to texting while driving.
"When you travel up and down the road and you see the traffic is backing up, you see somebody texting," Berry said. "You go out and work an accident and for no apparent reason somebody had run off the road and nine times out of ten it's due to texting or reading a text on a phone, not paying attention to what you are doing or where your surroundings are while you are driving."
Residents who are caught texting while driving, face a fine of $25 for the first year and then after that the fine goes up to $100 plus court costs.