A clarification: if your vehicle is not moving you can do whatever you want with
your cell phone or other electronic equipment. Take care of things while stopped
at a long stoplight, or pull over to the side of the road. Don't take your
eyes off the road while your vehicle is moving.
What the law should do, if accidents are to avoided and lives saved, is to make
it illegal to drive over the posted speed limit.Wait, that's
already illegal! Perhaps the Highway Patrol should enforce the speeding law
because most highway deaths are attributed to exceeding speed limits.Wouldn't it be a bit hilarious if the cops enforced the new
'distracted driving' law as vigorously as they enforce the speed laws?
I have mixed feelings about this new law.
This law is virtually worthless. Unless a law enforcement officer clearly sees a
driver actually dialing or texting a phone while driving, forget it. Even then,
the driver can claim he/she was using GPS.This is just another
"fake action to help us legislators look and feel good".To
really make a difference, state legislators need to make it illegal to use any
portable electronic device while the driver is behind the wheel of a vehicle.After Tuesday, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians will be at just as
much risk as we are now.
wer:"Even then, the driver can claim he/she was using GPS."The cop can and will (legally) confiscate the phone to see when and to
whom the last call was made. If it falls within the time frame of the officer
spotting the action, the user would be toast."To really make a
difference, state legislators need to make it illegal to use any portable
electronic device while the driver is behind the wheel of a vehicle."Such as turning on your wipers? Or, turning on/adjusting your radio?
How about the cigarette lighter?
These kinds of laws don't actually do much, except gradually get the people
to ignore the law. There are already too many laws for people to understand and
obey. This gradually leads to having the people disregard the rule of law.There is another negative result. Few people will actually be
"caught," except those who are in an accident where they already will
have paid an extremely high price as the consequence of texting while driving,
and this ticket will just be a kick them while they're down penalty.I don't support this kind of law.
"Any manipulation of your cellphone or your laptop while you're driving
is what we are going to be looking for,” said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt.
Todd Royce.So, how do we make a citizen's arrest of the
officers that frequently have their laptop functioning while driving?
If this is supposed to be a "clarification" of the law, and more
enforceable, this is pathetic. Listen to these confusing statements from the
article by those who supposedly understand and/or will enforce this law:"it will remain lawful to look up contact information, use voice
commands, view GPS or navigation coordinates and talk on the phone while
driving.""Any manipulation of your cellphone or your laptop
while you're driving is what we are going to be looking for,” said
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce.How will the cop know that
texting, rather than looking up contact info? You get pulled over for
"manipulating" the phone, and then tell them you were just looking up
contact info? What's to keep someone from saying they were, even if they
And this is ironic: Schappler said, "I know that [texting while
driving is] definitely not a good thing...and I think if there was a law about
it that would ... be like that extra little boost that I need to not do it
anymore."I guess he didn't know that texting while driving
was ALREADY illegal?... he was recently involved in a fender-bender
on his way to work after being more focused on his GPS than the road.Viewing your GPS, which is what caused his "fender bender" will still
The worst drivers I have encountered on the road fall into these three
categories--none of which is prohibited by the new law:1 Someone talking
on the phone, with it held to their ear.2 Someone engrossed in
conversation with a passenger in the vehicle.3 Police who are looking up
info on their in-vehicle laptop, literally typing while driving.I
say that if someone is driving poorly, the police should pull them over and warn
or cite them for it--whatever the cause may be. If the are driving fine, leave
wrz said: "The cop can and will (legally) confiscate the phone to see when
and to whom the last call was made. If it falls within the time frame of the
officer spotting the action, the user would be toast."How will
they do that? Precedent has already been established that the police cannot
force you to give up your password to unlock your smart phone. That is
considered forced self-incrimination, and is prohibited by the 5th amendment to
US Constitution. The government has the burden to prove you
committed a crime. You do not have to prove your innocence.
I believe car insurance companies ought to require cars be stocked with cell
phone block technology whenever the car is moving. In exchange, they (car
insurance companies) should give huge premiums discounts to those families
paying for car insurance.As too many drivers are texting while driving, to
prevent this, GPS chips would be placed within the license plate that will
deactivate text-messaging service if the car is moving. Only the driver would be
required to enter their cell phone number, thus this system will only block the
driver's cell phone. Thus allowing the passengers to have cell phone
coverage. The car insurance company could contract with a car repair chain, to
install this system. The car insurance company would pay it for 100 percent of
the costs.Finally, if you wish to adopt this system would be fully
volunteering bases, if you find this system too intrusive, then you do NOT have
to adopt it. However car insurance companies ought to give big premiums
discounts for those who do adopt it. This system will prevent the drivers
from being tempted from texting while driving. Then you save lives.
This is a very slippery slope people and nothing more than a vehicle for more
revenues for the cities and state. Eleven people were killed last year as a
direct result of texting and for this we are all now being restricted. The #1
cause of death is pharmaceutical drugs and hospital mistakes and I don't
see our lawmakers addressing that! This is all we need, one more law
restricting "we the people". We need to start reeling in government!!!
Cops can't force you to divulge passwords to your phone. Currently, some
court districts have no precedence over cops searching your phone without a
warrant while others require a warrant. The issue of law enforcement being able
to search your cell without a warrant was argued in the Supreme Court on April
29th and a vote is forthcoming. Something to be watching in light of the new
Utah law.Personally I think that banning the ability to dial a
number while allowing drivers to look up contact information is a huge
contradiction. It's far more distracting to scroll through contact
information than it is to dial a phone number you have memorized.
This law will be used as probable cause, to stop you ask for proof of insurance,
license and registration, and look for anything that a ticket can be written
for. This is another law, which benifits the rich that can afford new cars with
blue tooth. Same as car pool lanes, which passes can be bought for one person
travel. Same as all same year cars paying the same yearly registration fees as
opposed to paying based on the value of the vehicle. Police will use this law to
harass the people!
A word of advice, leave your phone out of site, if your pulled over, the officer
is sure to point it out and begin a line of questions. They will say they saw
you using your phone, write a ticket and tell you by signing the ticket that
your not admitting guilt. Worse they will want to search your phone using
probable cause. When you go to court, you will have to prove your innocense, it
will come to your word against the officers, the officer will swear-in and say
he/she saw you using your phone and the judge will rule against you. Or like
most you will just pay the ticket, protect and leave your phone out of site.
This will become a revenue generator.
This is another example of law makers spending more time making laws that
don't help us, and therefore wasting tax dollars.Enforcement is
not a prevention method, but a means of correction. If you want to stop visual
distractions you need to end the need for visual usage. Microsoft's Sync
system and similar alternatives do this.Research shows that visual
distractions are usually only solved when cars have the system in place to avoid
visual usage. Common sense says "well duh...". I want more people
talking in cars because that means less people dosing off or getting bored with
the road. More talking is good, less visual usage is good. Answer = more talking
with a car system.The answer has always been obvious. I'd
rather law makers give car companies a reason to build cars the right way than
pretend they can enforce the unenforceable.
This is a bad law.Having said that, please, everybody, stop
distracted driving! Legal or not, distracted driving is just plain stupid!
Note to Sen. Stephen Urquhart. Your new law is a pathetic attempt to enact a
REAL law concerning REAL safety measures. I can't believe lawmakers wasted
their time on anything less than a 'HANDS FREE' law. So it's OK
now for driver's ed to teach students how to drive one handed? Everyone
else will be. Get the picture? Another vain attempt to promote safety on
2 things:1. Bypass giving citations and go straight to giving
tickets. This is a good law. It's wrong to use a cellphone when driving
because you are putting others at risk and occasionally killing others. Penalize
it now. 2. I agree with all those who said they need to enforce
speeding. Start using speed cameras!! They save money and effectively deter
speeding. In Korea driving is horrendous, unless you are on the freeway where
there are tons of speeding camera and the driving miraculously becomes more
civilized. I hate getting tickets as much as anyone else, but enforcement of
laws keeps order. (If you want to see lawless driving take a taxi ride in China
Baby steps to a more complete police state. Pass laws that allow great
capriciousness by the enforcing officer and pretty soon we just learn to accept
their authority, but what can you do with a legislature which like a hammer sees
everything as a nail. Hopefully the courts can exercise some sense and
restraint, but I'm not holding my breath.
@ JapanCougarThis is not a good law, it is only more confusing. You
can still do some things like look up contact info, or use GPS, or use voice
commands, but not text. I can send a text using "Siri", and never take
my eyes off the road. So did I just break the law. We don't need any more
laws, just people with some common sense. @ Dave DuncanI was thinking the same thing as you. This Schappler college kid gets in a
fender bender from using GPS, and it is still lawful to use GPS. I'm not
sure he was the best example to use in this story. By the way Mr. Schappler, if
you need a law for motivation not to text etc while driving, then what's
next ? A law to motivate you do get your home work done ?@MomHAPPY MOTHERS DAY MOMI LOVE YOU !
I'm glad this law exists. It's not perfect but I hope it will help. I
don't see why it is so hard for a person to refrain from using a cell phone
while they are driving. I don't make phone calls while driving and if I get
a call I don't answer it until I get a chance to pull off the road and
return the call. Is that so difficult?
Mr. Informative: "This will become a revenue generator."Cops (city/state/county) already have revenue generators not being used...
Called ticketing speeders and tailgaters. It will also save lives way more then
the stupid distracted driving law.
OK, while I understand the importance of the message I have to cringe of the
misuse of the English language in the text of the message. I am referring to the
word your as in possive the case vs you are contracted to you're. Is the
author really writing this or quoting a written statement from the police
officer? If the author wrote this and used "your" meaning you are then
shame on the author. If the police officer wrote your instead of you are or
you're then shame on him. There are quite a few of us out there who notice
this type of error and just grit our teeth. Keep up your quality of writing
This law frustrates me so much. First of all, I am shocked that in a relatively
conservative state such as Utah, we has such an invasive law. Sometimes I
can't find the button to turn on my back window wiper, so I have to look
down, so should that be illegal? I look back in the rear view mirror
occasionally to acknowledge one of my kids, so should that be illegal? What
line do they draw to what I can and can't do? When will it become even
more invasive in our lives? You can tell how hard it is to draw the line
because they allow somethings, like GPS (which I would need to look at a whole
lot more) which are much more complicated than me pushing my speed dial. Second, there are distractions all around. I find I am actually more focused
when talking on the phone because if not I am looking at all the buildings and
billboards around more. I just hope they don't keep pushing further
into our lives until more and more of what we do is dictated by the government.
Being from out of state, whenever I travel on Utah's roads I say a fervent
prayer for protection. Utah is infamous for dangerous drivers. There
is a texting problem, granted. However, I feel like some of the biggest problems
are excessive speed, tailgating, aggressive lane changes and an all-out
disregard for human life via an "out of my way, grandma" mentality. When
a motorist going the speed limit is frequently passed as if they aren't
moving, tailgated and cut-off and in general fearing for their life, the problem
isn't texting. I realize the UHP would be extremely busy if they
"got" everyone who was engaging in such driving practices, but what are
they there for? Things can be done to curb the travel dangers in
Utah. This law may mean well, but doesn't target the more pressing
problems. Clear guidelines for penalizing speeding and otherwise
dangerous/reckless driving should be communicated and then enforced. Fines
should be increased. The result will be less fatalities and then Utah's
legislature can then focus on texting while driving.