Title 41 Chapter 6a Section 1716

Motor Vehicles
Traffic Code
Section 1716
Prohibition on using a handheld wireless communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle -- Exceptions -- Penalties.

            

41-6a-1716.   Prohibition on using a handheld wireless communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle -- Exceptions -- Penalties.

            (1) As used in this section:

            (a) (i) "Handheld wireless communication device" means a handheld device used for the transfer of information without the use of electrical conductors or wires.

            (ii) "Handheld wireless communication device" includes a:

            (A) wireless telephone;

            (B) personal digital assistant;

            (C) pager; or

            (D) text messaging device.

            (b) (i) "Text message" means to manually communicate in the form of electronic text or one or more electronic images sent by the actor from a handheld wireless communication device to another person's handheld wireless communication device or computer by addressing the communication to the person's telephone number.

            (ii) "Text message" includes manually composing a communication in the form of electronic text or an electronic image by the actor even if the electronic text or image has not been sent to another person.

            (2) Except as provided in Subsection (3), a person may not use a handheld wireless communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle on a highway in this state to:

            (a) text message;

            (b) manually communicate through an electronic mail system;

            (c) manually enter data into a handheld wireless communication device;

            (d) send data, read text, or view images on a handheld wireless communication device; or

            (e) manipulate an application from a handheld wireless communication device.

            (3) Subsection (2) does not prohibit a person from using a handheld wireless communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle:

            (a) when making or receiving a telephone call;

            (b) when using a handheld wireless communication device for global positioning or navigation services;

            (c) during a medical emergency;

            (d) when reporting a safety hazard or requesting assistance relating to a safety hazard;

            (e) when reporting criminal activity or requesting assistance relating to a criminal activity;

            (f) when providing roadside or medical assistance;

            (g) when used by a law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting within the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's or emergency service personnel's employment; or

            (h) to operate:

            (i) hands-free or voice operated technology; or

            (ii) a system that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.

            (4) A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a:

            (a) class C misdemeanor; or

            (b) class B misdemeanor if the person:

            (i) has also inflicted serious bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of using a handheld wireless communication device for text messaging or electronic mail communication while operating a moving motor vehicle on a highway in this state; or

            (ii) has a prior conviction under this section, that is within three years of:

            (A) the current conviction under this section; or

            (B) the commission of the offense upon which the current conviction is based.


Amended by Chapter 193, 2012 General Session