Bill banning squatted vehicles passes house committee

Published 2:06 pm Thursday, March 28, 2024

JACKSON — Lincoln County Sen. Jason Barrett helped author a senate bill banning squatted vehicles, which passed the House Committee of Transportation. The bill will now be added to the House Calendar for floor action. 

According to the Mississippi Legislature, 51 of 52 senators voted in favor of the bill on March 7. Sen.Angela Turner-Ford was marked as absent or not present for the vote.

House Committee on Transportation passed the bill as sufficient with no amendments to the legislation. It now moves one step closer to becoming a law.

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The Legislation

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. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not have any specific report about squatted vehicles being a danger. Squatted vehicles are not cited as a risk in Mississippi’s recent traffic fatality report or plans published on the NHTSA website. 

The petition has a goal of 2,500 signees and is at 2,231 signatures as of 4 p.m. Friday.