There has been a lot of confusion regarding the new cell phone law in Utah. Lawmakers attempted to allow some behaviors that they felt were not as dangerous as others. This attempt at avoiding an all-out ban on cell phone use while driving has left some drivers unsure about what conduct is acceptable. The following is the relevant section of the new statute:
Utah Code: Title 41/Chapter 6A/Section 1716:
(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 manually:
(a) write, send, or read a written communication, including:
(i) a text message;
(ii) an instant message; or
(iii) electronic mail;
(b) dial a phone number;
(c) access the Internet;
(d) view or record video; or
(e) enter data into 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 using a handheld communication device for voice communication;
(b) to view a global positioning or navigation device or a global positioning or navigation application;
(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 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
(g) to operate:
(i) hands-free or voice operated technology; or
(ii) a system that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.
Once you break it down, it’s not that complicated. The main emphasis of the law is to entirely eliminate data entry while driving; that means no typing. No typing a text, email, or even a phone number. It also bans surfing the web and recording or viewing video. However, Utah drivers can still answer calls, make calls without dialing, and use their g.p.s.
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