Chief Sponsor: Carol Spackman Moss

Senate Sponsor: Don L. Ipson


8     General Description:
9          This bill prohibits the use of a handheld mobile device while operating a motor vehicle
10     without the use of hands-free technology.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     prohibits the use of a handheld mobile device while operating a moving motor
14     vehicle unless the person uses hands-free technology; and
15          ▸     makes technical changes.
16     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17          None
18     Other Special Clauses:
19          None
20     Utah Code Sections Affected:
21     AMENDS:
22          41-6a-1716, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 416

24     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
25          Section 1. Section 41-6a-1716 is amended to read:
26          41-6a-1716. Prohibition on using a handheld wireless communication device
27     while operating a moving motor vehicle -- Exceptions -- Penalties.

28          (1) As used in this section:
29          (a) (i) "Handheld wireless communication device" means a handheld device used for
30     the transfer of information without the use of electrical conductors or wires.
31          [(b)] (ii) "Handheld wireless communication device" includes [a]:
32          [(i)] (A) a wireless telephone;
33          [(ii)] (B) a text messaging device;
34          [(iii)] (C) a laptop; or
35          [(iv)] (D) any substantially similar communication device that is readily removable
36     from the vehicle and is used to write, send, or read text or data through manual input.
37          (b) "Hands-free technology" means technology that allows the use of a handheld
38     wireless communication device without manual manipulation, including a system physically or
39     electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.
40          (2) [Except as provided in Subsection (3),] Unless using hands-free technology, a
41     person may not use a handheld wireless communication device while operating a moving
42     motor vehicle on a highway in this state to [manually]:
43          (a) place or receive a voice communication;
44          [(a)] (b) write, send, or read a written communication, including:
45          (i) a text message;
46          (ii) an instant message; or
47          (iii) electronic mail;
48          [(b)] (c) dial a phone number;
49          [(c)] (d) access the Internet;
50          [(d)] (e) view or record video; or
51          [(e)] (f) enter data into a handheld wireless communication device.
52          (3) Subsection (2) does not prohibit a person from using a handheld wireless
53     communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle:
54          [(a) when using a handheld communication device for voice communication;]
55          [(b)] (a) to view a global positioning or navigation device or a global positioning or
56     navigation application;
57          [(c)] (b) during a medical emergency;
58          [(d)] (c) when reporting a safety hazard or requesting assistance relating to a safety

59     hazard;
60          [(e)] (d) when reporting criminal activity or requesting assistance relating to a criminal
61     activity;
62          [(f)] (e) when used by a law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting
63     within the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's or emergency service personnel's
64     employment; or
65          [(g)] (f) to operate:
66          (i) hands-free or voice operated technology; or
67          (ii) a system that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.
68          (4) A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a:
69          (a) class C misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $100; or
70          (b) class B misdemeanor if the person:
71          (i) has also inflicted serious bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of using a
72     handheld wireless communication device in violation of this section while operating a moving
73     motor vehicle on a highway in this state; or
74          (ii) has a prior conviction under this section, that is within three years of:
75          (A) the current conviction under this section; or
76          (B) the commission of the offense upon which the current conviction is based.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel