7 LONG TITLE
8 Committee Note:
9 The Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee recommended this bill.
10 General Description:
11 This bill amends provisions related to the use of a handheld wireless communication
12 device while operating a motor vehicle.
13 Highlighted Provisions:
14 This bill:
15 ▸ defines terms related to the operation of handheld wireless communication devices;
16 ▸ prohibits certain uses of a handheld wireless communication device while operating
17 a motor vehicle on a roadway;
18 ▸ provides limited exceptions to the prohibition on the use of a handheld wireless
19 communication device while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway; and
20 ▸ makes technical changes.
21 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
23 Other Special Clauses:
25 Utah Code Sections Affected:
27 41-6a-1716, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 416
29 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
30 Section 1. Section 41-6a-1716 is amended to read:
31 41-6a-1716. Prohibition on using a handheld wireless communication device
32 while operating a moving motor vehicle -- Exceptions -- Penalties.
33 (1) As used in this section:
34 (a) (i) "Handheld wireless communication device" means a handheld device used for
35 the transfer of information without the use of electrical conductors or wires.
41 from the vehicle and is used to write, send, or read text or data through manual input.
42 (b) "Hands-free operation" means the use of a handheld wireless communication
43 device without manual manipulation.
44 (c) (i) "Manual manipulation" means the use of a hand to hold or operate a handheld
45 wireless communication device.
46 (ii) "Manual manipulation" does not include the use of a hand to activate or deactivate
47 a feature or function of the handheld wireless communication device if:
48 (A) the manipulation is a single swipe or tap of a finger; and
49 (B) the handheld wireless communication device is mounted on the vehicle's
50 windshield, dashboard, or center console in a manner that does not hinder the operator's view
51 of the road.
52 (2) Except as provided in Subsection (3), [
53 a handheld wireless communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle on a
63 (3) (a) Subsection (2) does not prohibit [
64 (i) hands-free operation of a wireless communication device while operating a motor
65 vehicle on a roadway; or
66 (ii) using a handheld wireless communication device while operating a [
67 vehicle on a roadway:
71 (A) if the motor vehicle is parked on the roadway in a manner allowed under this
77 activity; or
79 within the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's or emergency service personnel's
84 (b) Except as allowed under Subsection (3)(a)(ii), an individual may not use a handheld
85 wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway to:
86 (i) read a written communication, including:
87 (A) a text message;
88 (B) an instant message; or
89 (C) electronic mail; or
90 (ii) view or record video.
91 (4) A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a:
92 (a) class C misdemeanor [
93 (b) class B misdemeanor if the person:
94 (i) has also inflicted serious bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of using a
95 handheld wireless communication device in violation of this section while operating a moving
96 motor vehicle on a highway in this state; or
97 (ii) has a prior conviction under this section, that is within three years of:
98 (A) the current conviction under this section; or
99 (B) the commission of the offense upon which the current conviction is based.