New Law Limits Cell Phone Usage in Vehicles

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Southeastern Utah District Health Department Press Release

The Southeastern Utah District Health Department would like residents to know about a new law that comes into effect May 13. Most Utahns don’t know about the law, but it may change the way motorists drive and it will definitely effect how cell phones are used in a vehicle.

Hands free systems and voice activated cell phones are allowed, along with GPS and map systems on your phone, but anything that requires you to manipulate the cell phone in any way is banned while driving. This means no texting, no web surfing, no dialing a number or taking pictures. The exceptions are using your hands during a medical emergency, reporting a safety hazard or reporting criminal activity.

Tickets for using a cell phone outside of these exceptions can be a fine up to $100 and is a class C misdemeanor. It changes to a class B misdemeanor if someone is hurt.

The goal of this law is to save lives. By removing distractions, lawmakers hope to reduce traffic accidents.

Last year, 11 people died on Utah roads in crashes attributed to distracted driving such as using a cell phone.

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