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."
- The pimple dilemma: To pop or not to pop
- Dad who placed ad for a wife for his son gets...
- Prosecutors: Dad, son fleeing police killed...
- Quiz: Name that movie (filmed in Utah)
- Quiz: Who said it?: Utah coaches edition
- Quiz: Which Utah attraction should you road...
- Quiz: Which epic Airbnb in Utah should be...
- Police shoot, critically injure 'prime...
- Gov. Gary Herbert calls margin of... 39
- 45 new locations open to provide free... 38
- Misty Snow likely to advance to general... 34
- Supreme Court abortion decision could... 31
- Arches Health Plan shutdown leaves $33... 30
- Rep. Love hosts poverty discussion with... 18
- History-making transgender U.S. Senate... 14
- How the tech industry grew a rural Utah... 13