Comments about ‘New cellphone restrictions catch some Utah motorists by surprise’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, April 4 2014 6:30 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Phoenix, AZ

"Eleven people died last year on Utah roads in crashes attributed to distracted driving."

But, how many people died on the highways from speeding? Speeding is the number one cause of deaths on the highways. If the State and the Highway Patrol want to reduce deaths they should concentrate on pulling speeders over and ticketing them.

Dr. Thom
Long Beach, CA

People barley drive in a consistant and responsible manner and adding texting to the mix just overcomplicates everything. Just put down the phone and drive, no one is that important unless you are the Pope or the President of the United States, and they have drivers.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

WRZ Please quote your source that says speeding is the number one cause of death on highways. I'd like to read the data.

Gilbert, AZ

Seems like Utah is joining the liberal establishment and joining the nanny state. Arizona drivers get to still enjoy real freedom.

South Jordan, UT

This law is basically worthless. It's a terrible compromise. Drivers can still talk on the phone while driving means they will have the same reaction time as people who are DUI. What the spineless legislatures have done is state: "It's OK to drive while intoxicated."

As a school bus driver, I have a higher vantage point while driving. Many, if not most, if not a large majority, drive while on the phone. One hand on the wheel of a large SUV (or any other vehicle), one hand holding the phone, and the mind of the driver follows the conversation.

Ever wonder why so few, otherwise, courteous people don't use their turn signals? It's because they are on the phone and can't manage to signal, or are too distracted to realize what they are doing. Same as DUI.

South Jordan, UT

I drive down Bangeter everyday. I'd like to see a crack-down on motorists who run RED lights without ever hitting the brakes! No wonder people get killed.

Iron Rod
Salt Lake City, UT

So which of our political leaders authored this bill?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Is this the type of small government repubs in this state brag about?

Health care is somehow nanny government.

While this ridiculous law is somehow giving us more freedom?


Gene Poole

Hmmmm.... Law enforcement officers and emergency personnel have super powers wherein they are not distracted or have other things in their vehicles that could possibly prevent them from having full attention to the road. Amazing how the law says that they can still use their hands. I watched a sheriff in Phoenix text with both hands and drive with his knees while he was exceeding the speed limit by 20 - 30 miles an hour. Oh, that's safe. (He is an associate and I was going to lunch with him.) The law should apply to ALL citizens - period. BUT that will never happen when police consider themselves elitists anyway. Above the law. Please don't get me wrong, I do not believe that is how ALL officers are, but there are enough to endanger us minions who are in their way. Riding with this "friend" was terrifying. Could I say anything to him. Probably and he would have laughed. Maybe the police in SLC will be more aware. I sure hope so.

Taylorsville, UT

The legislators fell very short in this alternative law that is still compromising the safety of the same number of others on the road with or without holding the phone in their hands.

The act of talking while driving is a mental distraction which is the main reason for banning the phone in hand rule. Talking is always an emotional driven from of communication and its always the emotional distractions that are deadly. Emotional distractions compromises are the biggest distractions drivers face and this VOIP should also be banned.

The fact that speed still causes more severe injury and deaths and vehicle ejection when they go out of control has become less of a concern because the new government is putting so much faith and trust in the incorporated air bags and vehicle showroom designs to compensate for speed related deaths. But the numbers are still high and there but subdued to placate those who are in a hurry to die or kill others. Automobile homicide is a lesser crime than child discipline so its a matter of sacrificial law enforcment relevant to emotional state of advocates (squealing left winger socialist) that determines crime enforcement.

Washington, UT

I use my phone connected to my radio for music and calls, if that is now illegal that is ridiculous! What is the difference between switching the station on the radio or on my phone? My phone is mounted higher and keeps my eyes on the road better than if I change the station on the radio!

Mark from Montana
Davis County, UT

I have lived in five different states and can tell you that Utah drivers are the worst I have seen. They are on par with drivers in Sicily frankly.

If the UHP wants to reduce the number of crashes, then start handing out tickets for following too close. That is the single biggest issue with drivers. If you are 30 behind the car in front, you are too close. Following that close does not make the person in front go faster, yet that must be what Utah drivers think will happen.


So it will be illegal to change the music on your phone, but OK to change the channel on your radio? Perhaps they should make rolling down the window a distraction as well. Over the top nanny state mentality at it's finest.

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

Near Alpine I was almost hit head on by a woman yaking on a cell phone, contractor talking a big deal nearly sideswiped me a the point of the mountain, watched a BMW in Midvale blow a school zone at twice the speed limit with school children in the area talking on cell phone, watched on the news as a college student went to prison for killing people in a crash in Logan Canyon for texting and driving. Thousands of near misses and sooner or later it maybe you.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

Speeding is not a cause of accidents at all! Hitting someone while speeding might be, or being hit by someone who is speeding might be, but speeding can, at worst, be said to be a factor in more serious accidents.

Salt Lake City, UT

How much time and how many taxpayer dollars did legislators waste getting this law passed? To save 10+ lives per year? Consider how many lives could be saved if speeding were better enforced. And yet, when "robo-cop" devices were introduced, for example, they were denounced as "unfair" and eliminated. Want to catch more speeders? Want to save more lives? Introduce more unmarked police cars and dramatically increase speeding fines. Who would risk speeding if the fine was $5,000?

West Valley City, UT

Easy peezy. Just remember to have a Bluetooth device in your car. That will allow credible doubt if some officer gets ticket happy. Some of us have been driving and texting/calling without accident for 2 decades. It is a skill. Like anything else you get better at it with practice and developing a mindset that being safe comes first. A word in a text message can wait until a focus intensive driving task is over. I have a friend that texts all the time while driving with both hands and often looking down(knee for steering wheel). He can look at the rood going 65 and memorize a relatively straight section of a quarter mile, then look down for 12-15 seconds typing 15 words. It even works better when he uses the rumble strips and no cars are on the road. It is a skill I don't have but one can see how carefully, safely developing it can make you better than the next guy who only texts while rushing to work. He has to tell the wife to turn off the water to the garden. He wrecks because he hardly ever does it. Teen drivers should be a lot more careful.

Western Rover
Herriman, UT

Phones with voice command and Bluetooth connectivity have been out for years, so if you can afford cell phone service at all, you can afford one of these phones, used on eBay if not new from your carrier. There should be no technical reason you can't comply with this law.

I wish the law would recognize that some traffic situations require more concentration than others. It's much less dangerous to swipe my screen (without looking) to rewind my audiobook, while driving a lightly-trafficked straight rural highway, than it is to compose a text message using an on-screen keyboard while changing from I-215 to I-15 during weekday traffic.

Fuaamotu, Tonga

wrz, how many people need to die "in crashes attributed to distracted driving" to justify a law restricting distractions from driving? All I needed was one.

And LovelyDeseret, Utah isn't becoming a "nanny state" just because its irresponsible drivers are going to held more accountable. Some of us have had more than enough of drivers doing everything but driving. We spoke out and our legislature responded.

And you want to talk about “freedom?” How was my loved one exercising her freedom to drive when a kid talking on his cell phone sped through a red light and plowed in to her car?

Sandy, UT

We didn't have cell phones back in the old days and we did fine and kept our hands on the wheel all the time. Go ahead break the law and get pulled over. You don't like it then move to other states where they have freedom and possible deaths. I hope one of my kid will listen to us but I have a bad feeling he is going to get pulled over.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments