POLITICS

Committee OKs Bill To Ban Handheld Phone Use While Driving

Feb 7, 2019, 9:21 PM | Updated: 9:22 pm
(Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)...
(Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)
(Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah House committee has passed a bill that would ban the holding of a cellphone while driving.

The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee voted Wednesday to recommend the bill, the Deseret News reported.

The bill, sponsored by House Minority Whip Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, makes any handheld use of a cellphone illegal while driving, even when using the phone for navigation or voice communication.

Texting while driving and talking while holding the phone to an ear is already illegal in Utah

Moss shared a statistic from 2018 that says 7 percent of drivers, at any given moment, are using cellphones.

“This is the biggest complaint I get from, not just constituents, but people all over the state saying . ‘you need to pass a law prohibiting handheld phones,'” Moss said.

The bill would allow a single swipe or tap on a device that is mounted in a way that allows the driver to see the road. It also allows use in an emergency and for reporting hazards or crimes.

Moss presented a similar bill last year but the House Transportation Committee did not vote in favor of it.

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Committee OKs Bill To Ban Handheld Phone Use While Driving