House approves distracted driving bill

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  • crazybeau West Valley city, UT
    March 18, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    Please explain to me how looking at your phone would necessarily give evidence that you were breaking the law. I have an integrated motor vehicle system that uses bluetooth. My phone is paired with the car's system. When I turn on the car's system and VERBALLY tell the phone who I want to contact through the car's system, the phone dials the number and the call then comes through my car radio. Note: At no time have I touched my cell phone during this process. I typically only carry on short conversations when I am driving, but the phone would still show that I made a call and that the call was dialed from my cell phone. How should this automatically allow a police officer to ticket me because my phone had been used. How would I be able to prove that the call was actually made by bluetooth connection with my vehicle and why would it be incumbent upon me to show I was innocent?

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 17, 2014 1:07 a.m.


    I did read from the beginning. I'm very capable at articulating a clear case and reading through redundant info to find the nuggets I want. However, I did not find what I wanted to know here.

    Laws should be simple, to the point, and unmistakable. If there is any room for doubt, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation, our laws are not secure. The SCOTUS proves this continually. The constitution doesn't define Judicial Review, Marriage, Privacy, or an alterable interpretation of laws regarding the equal protection clause, yet courts have ruled in each case as if such support had already been in place. The law was clear enough, yet neglected. If left unclear, laws get abused even more.

    In this case, I am not convinced this bill wouldn't be misunderstood later.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 15, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    @ Kally: Thankfully Utah is not waiting on SCOTUS and passed HB 128 requiring warrants to search cell phones.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    @ midvale guy: If an officer sees you on your phone he can ticket you for violating the law - unless you show him your phone and prove your innocence so he doesn't ticket you.

    And if there is any doubt, the officers can arrest you and then search your phone. Of course, that may change pending the Supreme Courts rulings on Riley v. California, 13-132 and U.S. v. Wurie, 13-212 (expected in June of this year).

  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    March 14, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    @ kally
    Are you actually serious? This directly violates my fourth amendment rights when he asks to see my phone for any reason. I only have to provide license and registration and anything more would be ridiculous. Secondarily I should not have to prove my innocence, they need to have evidence that indicates I may be guilty of a crime. It's this kind of globalist thinking that is really dangerous. Stand up for your rights before you don't have them any more.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    @ mcdugall: Actually, it doesn't take much to see what a phone has been used for - and chances are, if someone is pulled over for using their phone, a warrant may not be required. The officer can ask to see the phone and if the driver shows it to him or her, the officer will be able to see what is on the screen. If the screen is locked, blank, or on an application other than a navigation app, or the driver refuses to show the phone, the officer will have reason to suspect the driver was acting inappropriately and can ticket the driver.

    If there is an accident, the phone can be examined as evidence in assigning fault. Text messages, phone calls, and emails are all time stamped, most apps take some time to get into, so if the driver was on the phone and a navigation app is not loaded or not fully loaded, with a realistic destination entered, the officers at the scene can fault and ticket the driver.

    Once ticketed, the driver would be responsible for providing the evidence that they were not in the wrong.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    @ I know it etc.: From the bill, "(3) Subsection (2) does not prohibit a person from using a handheld wireless
    86 communication device while operating a moving motor vehicle:
    100 ... (g) to operate:
    101 (i) hands-free or voice operated technology; or
    102 (ii) a system that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle."

    If you start at the beginning and read the whole bill, it is actually very easy to understand.

    @ Shaking and Fitness: The bill pretty much states that unless you are making a call regarding an emergency, your system needs to be hands free (you cannot manually dial the phone while driving, although the bill does't say anything about talking on the phone after it is dialed). Talking on the phone, handsfree or otherwise, has been shown to still be rather distracting.

  • That's A Good One Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    If I had a nickel for every time I've witnessed a police officer in this valley driving a squad car and either talking on a cell phone or typing into their dash mounted laptop while driving I'd have at least a few nickels.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    I suspect the REAL reason the legislature didn't do the right thing once and for all (outlaw cell phone use while driving)is that most of them are probably the WORST ones.

    ALL of us have been stuck behind someone at a traffic light waiting for the person in front of us to quit gabbing and drive. ALL of us can identify with that. Some of us have seen MANY near misses as people ignore pedestrians, and traffic around them while they blather on using their cell phone.

    Its' bizarre to me that the state tries to pretend that, by law, they will eliminate all drunk driving and distracted driving, while ignoring the cell phone nonsense.

    Ask ANY cop how many cell phones are involved with even fender benders. You'll get an earful!!

  • Plowboy185 Provo, UT
    March 14, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    The driver in the picture is sitting on the right side of the car. That is OK in Great Britain, Japan, and Australia. Not very likely in Utah.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    March 14, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    @My2Cents - Given a warrant and some staffing time, it would be extremely easy to be able to conclusively prove what the person was doing on their phone at any specific time, although not a very practical use of resources in some cases.

  • Shaking my head Layton, UT
    March 14, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    Just the way Utah rolls. Pretty clueless on a lot of common sense issues.
    I've lived in two other States during the last 8 years and BOTH of them had laws AGAINST using cell phones when driving unless hands free.

    Utah needs to wake up. I've seen DOZENS of close calls since moving here as people tried to drive and hold their cell phones to their ear at the same time. *FROWN*

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 14, 2014 6:44 a.m.

    "hands-free or voice operated technology"
    "a system that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle."


    Are these proposed to be allowed or criminalized? Just for law enforcement or for everyone? The bill was a hack job so it was hardly readable imo. I've read a lot of bills and sometimes you have to pay close attention, but in this case I can't even make sense of it.

    1 - The bill should be more clear
    2 - The state shouldn't restrict hands-free operation. Argue distraction all you like but parents with 3 kids in the car are far more distracted than someone with an ear-piece or a car integration system.

    I'd rather we require car manufactures to put sync systems in every car instead. Standards for cars haven't improved much in the past few decades. If the times have embraced mobile devices, so should the cars.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    March 14, 2014 4:32 a.m.

    Another law with a built in loop hole to allow cell phone use while driving calling it a handheld device. Even for navigation they should not be allowed to use a handheld device unless they are stopped and not in motion. This law just defeated itself before its even law. The police cannot prove they weren't navigating if they are using their cell phone while driving. So why do our legislators waste so much time in laws that aren't laws? So stupid.