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Utah Governor to Decide Fate of Distracted Driving Bill

March 19, 2014


The Utah House on March 13 approved a measure that prohibits use of a handheld wireless electronics device – including a cell phone – to compose, send or read a written communication while driving.

The Utah Senate passed the measure earlier that week, so now the bill awaits a decision from Gov. Gary R. Herbert.

The state already prohibits texting while driving. But under this bill’s provisions, drivers also could not legally read or send instant messages or e-mail, dial phone numbers, access the Internet, view or record videos, or enter data on a handheld wireless device while they’re operating a moving vehicle.

Drivers could still operate handheld wireless phones and devices for voice communication, to view a GPS or navigation system, or to report an emergency or crime to authorities.

Hands-free or voice-command operation of a wireless device would not be subject to the measure’s restrictions. On-duty emergency service and law enforcement personnel would also be exempt.

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