Bill banning squatted vehicles progresses in Senate, petition hopes to kill it

Published 4:13 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

JACKSON — Mississippi State Senator Jason Barrett introduced Senate Bill 2250 on February 5 sparking outrage online. His bill made progress on February 21 while a petition online hopes to stop the bill. 

Barrett’s bill survived the Highways and Transportation committee where committee members deemed the bill sufficient do pass. SB2250 is now item 31 on the Senate Calendar. If the Highway and Transportation committee chairman calls the bill forward to be read a third time it will go to a vote in the senate. If the bill passes it will move on to the Mississippi House of Representatives. 

The legislation

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Senate Bill 2250 would impose restrictions on vehicle modifications which result in vehicle front fenders being raised more than four or more inches greater than the height of the rear fenders. SB2250 provides for the manner of measuring the vehicle’s height, defines relevant terms and provides penalties for violations. Squatted vehicles are defined in the bill as being modified to where the vehicle is squatting on its back tires. 

Anyone who violates this prohibition of squatted vehicles would be subject to a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 fine for the second offense, $300 fine for the third or subsequent offense and their drivers license would be suspended for 12 months. 

Offenses occurring within five years of each other would constitute a prior offense. Penalties would be imposed 180 days after the effective date. For the first 180 days, officers with state, county and city agencies would issue warning tickets for the violation.

If passed, SB2250 would go into effect on July 1, 2024. Three other senators joined Barrett in authoring the bill. 

The petition

A petition to stop the ban of squatted trucks in Mississippi was started on February 16 petitioning Mississippi State Representative Fred Shanks and the Mississippi Senate on 

The petition states “Squatted trucks have become an integral part of the automotive culture in Mississippi. These modified vehicles are not just a mode of transportation, but a symbol of individuality and personal expression for many Mississippi citizens. The recent move to ban squatted trucks is seen as an infringement on our rights to modify and use our vehicles as we see fit.” 

According to the petition, safety concerns are often cited as the reason for this ban but there is no “concrete evidence,” that squatted trucks pose a risk on the road. 

“We understand and respect that all vehicle modifications should be done responsibly with safety considerations in mind. However, banning an entire category of modifications without substantial proof of danger seems unjustified,” the petition states. “We urge our lawmakers to reconsider this decision and work towards regulations that ensure safety without compromising our freedom to express ourselves through our vehicles.” 

The petition has a goal of 2,500 signees and is at 2,021 signatures as of 4 p.m. Friday.