SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would fine minors as much as $50 for talking on the phone while driving failed 11-13 Tuesday in the Senate.
HB103, sponsored by Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, would have allowed teens to call in medical emergencies, road hazards or criminal acts, and speak with parents or legal guardians.
Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, said he supports the concept of the bill, but a violation already exists in a broader law.
"The problem is not teens; it's any driver. The problem isn't cellphones; it's anything that distracts you from the road," Thatcher said. "Depending upon the severity of the moving violation, you could lose your license for driving distracted. That legislation already exists."
Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said the bill is more about mentality.
"We shouldn't let the perfect interfere with the good," Hillyard said. "If I am 19 and I get pulled over for using a cellphone, I will be more careful next time, even if I don't get a ticket."
Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, agreed, saying the bill is just one step toward changing teen attitudes in regards to the dangerous habit.
"Studies show that cellphone usage in driving is as serious an infraction as drinking and driving," Harper said. "Such a nominal penalty is a warning, more than anything, to those who are putting other drivers in danger."
- 'Meet the Mormons' reaches $4.5 million mark,...
- Updated newborn screening test picks up rare...
- Stay lifted on adoptions by same-sex parents...
- District attorney asks A.G. to consider...
- Several national parks vandalized, including...
- Two killed in high-speed, fiery crash into...
- 2 hospitalized after 6-car pileup in Centerville
- National Guard, DPS weigh possible...
- Utahns support bill making clear clergy... 126
- Utahns not as strongly opposed to... 97
- Stay lifted on adoptions by same-sex... 75
- Love not attending Salt Lake City... 61
- GOP senators, congressmen offer support... 45
- Group meeting in Salt Lake to plan 2015... 34
- 'Meet the Mormons' reaches $4.5 million... 31
- Support for statewide nondiscrimination... 19