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S.B. 98

             1     

AMENDMENTS TO PROHIBITION ON USING A HANDHELD

             2     
WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE WHILE OPERATING

             3     
A VEHICLE

             4     
2012 GENERAL SESSION

             5     
STATE OF UTAH

             6     
Chief Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

             7     
House Sponsor: Richard A. Greenwood

             8     
             9      LONG TITLE
             10      General Description:
             11          This bill modifies the Traffic Code and the Utah Criminal Code by amending
             12      provisions to relating the prohibition of using a wireless communication device while
             13      operating a moving motor vehicle.
             14      Highlighted Provisions:
             15          This bill:
             16          .    amends definitions;
             17          .    provides that a person may not use a handheld wireless communication device while
             18      operating a moving motor vehicle on a highway in this state to:
             19              .    text message;
             20              .    communicate through an electronic mail system;
             21              .    manually enter data into a handheld wireless communication device;
             22              .    send data, read text, or view images on a handheld wireless communication
             23      device; or
             24              .    manipulate an application from a handheld wireless communication device;
             25          .    provides that a person is not prohibited from using a handheld wireless
             26      communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle:
             27              .    when making or receiving a telephone call; or


             28              .    when using a handheld wireless communication device for global positioning or
             29      navigation services;
             30          .    provides that a person is guilty of automobile homicide involving a handheld
             31      wireless communication device if the person uses a handheld wireless
             32      communication device for certain purposes while operating a moving motor vehicle
             33      in a negligent or criminally negligent manner and causes the death of another
             34      person; and
             35          .    makes technical changes.
             36      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             37          None
             38      Other Special Clauses:
             39          None
             40      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             41      AMENDS:
             42          41-6a-1716, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 291
             43          76-5-207.5, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 291
             44     
             45      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             46          Section 11. Section 41-6a-1716 is amended to read:
             47           41-6a-1716. Prohibition on using a handheld wireless communication device for
             48      text messaging communication while operating a moving motor vehicle -- Penalties.
             49          (1) As used in this section:
             50          (a) (i) "Handheld wireless communication device" means a handheld device used for
             51      the transfer of information without the use of electrical conductors or wires.
             52          (ii) "Handheld wireless communication device" includes a:
             53          (A) wireless telephone;
             54          (B) personal digital assistant;
             55          (C) pager; or
             56          (D) text messaging device.
             57          (b) (i) "Text [messaging" has the same meaning as defined in Section 76-4-401 .]
             58      message" means to communicate in the form of electronic text or one or more electronic


             59      images sent by the actor from a handheld wireless communication device to another person's
             60      handheld wireless communication device or computer by addressing the communication to the
             61      person's telephone number.
             62          (ii) "Text message" includes composing a communication in the form of electronic text
             63      or an electronic image by the actor even if the electronic text or image has not been sent to
             64      another person.
             65          (2) Except as provided in Subsection (3), a person may not use a handheld wireless
             66      communication device [for text messaging or electronic mail communication] while operating
             67      a moving motor vehicle on a highway in this state[.] to:
             68          (a) text message;
             69          (b) communicate through an electronic mail system;
             70          (c) manually enter data into a handheld wireless communication device;
             71          (d) send data, read text, or view images on a handheld wireless communication device;
             72      or
             73          (e) manipulate an application from a handheld wireless communication device.
             74          (3) Subsection (2) does not prohibit a person from using a handheld wireless
             75      communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle:
             76          (a) when making or receiving a telephone call;
             77          (b) when using a handheld wireless communication device for global positioning or
             78      navigation services;
             79          [(a)] (c) during a medical emergency;
             80          [(b)] (d) when reporting a safety hazard or requesting assistance relating to a safety
             81      hazard;
             82          [(c)] (e) when reporting criminal activity or requesting assistance relating to a criminal
             83      activity;
             84          [(d)] (f) when providing roadside or medical assistance; or
             85          [(e)] (g) when used by a law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting
             86      within the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's or emergency service personnel's
             87      employment.
             88          (4) A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a:
             89          (a) class C misdemeanor; or


             90          (b) class B misdemeanor if the person:
             91          (i) has also inflicted serious bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of using a
             92      handheld wireless communication device for text messaging or electronic mail communication
             93      while operating a moving motor vehicle on a highway in this state; or
             94          (ii) has a prior conviction under this section, that is within three years of:
             95          (A) the current conviction under this section; or
             96          (B) the commission of the offense upon which the current conviction is based.
             97          Section 2. Section 76-5-207.5 is amended to read:
             98           76-5-207.5. Automobile homicide involving using a handheld wireless
             99      communication device while driving.
             100          (1) As used in this section:
             101          (a) "Criminally negligent" means criminal negligence as defined by Subsection
             102      76-2-103 (4).
             103          [(a)] (b) "Handheld wireless communication device" has the same meaning as defined
             104      in Section 41-6a-1716 .
             105          [(b)] (c) "Motor vehicle" means any self-propelled vehicle and includes any
             106      automobile, truck, van, motorcycle, train, engine, watercraft, or aircraft.
             107          [(c) "Text messaging" has the same meaning as defined in Section 76-4-401 .]
             108          [(2) (a) As used in this Subsection (2), "negligent"]
             109          (d) "Negligent" means simple negligence, the failure to exercise that degree of care that
             110      reasonable and prudent persons exercise under like or similar circumstances.
             111          [(b)] (2) Criminal homicide is automobile homicide, a third degree felony, if the person
             112      operates a moving motor vehicle in a negligent manner:
             113          [(i)] (a) while using a handheld wireless communication device [for text messaging or
             114      electronic mail communication] in violation of Section 41-6a-1716 ; and
             115          [(ii)] (b) causing the death of another person.
             116          [(3) (a) As used in this Subsection (3), "criminally negligent" means criminal
             117      negligence as defined by Subsection 76-2-103 (4).]
             118          [(b)] (3) Criminal homicide is automobile homicide, a second degree felony, if the
             119      person operates a moving motor vehicle in a criminally negligent manner:
             120          [(i)] (a) while using a handheld wireless communication device [for text messaging or


             121      electronic mail communication] in violation of Section 41-6a-1716 ; and
             122          [(ii)] (b) causing the death of another person.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-3-12 3:39 PM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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