Utah Texting and Driving Laws
Utah’s texting and driving law is found in Utah code section 41-6a-1716. The law creates harsh consequences for drivers who text and drive. Utah law does not allow drivers to use handheld devices, including tablets, iPads, Kindles, and cell phones. When someone chooses to text, they are willfully neglecting their responsibility as a driver, and they are compromising their safety and those around them.
Utah Prohibits Use of Handheld Devices Like Phones
Utah law does NOT allow any motorist to use a handheld wireless communication device or cell phone while driving. These include:
- Sending or reading email
- Sending data, emojis, memes, and the like
- Viewing MMS or images
- Using apps
Gadgets categorized as wireless communication devices include:
- Wireless telephone
- Personal digital assistant
- Text messaging device
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Exceptions to Utah Cell Phone Driving Laws
There are some exceptions to Utah’s cell phone driving prohibition. These include:
- To make or receive a call
- Using GPS
- During a medical emergency
- To report a safety hazard and request police assistance
- Providing roadside or medical help
- Reporting criminal activity
- Calling for police help
- A hands-free technology or system that is physically integrated into a motor vehicle
Persons Exempt from Utah’s Cell Phone Driving Laws
Law enforcement and medical emergency personnel are exempt from Utah’s cell phone driving laws as long as their use is in line with the nature of their work.
What Are the Penalties and Fines if Someone is Caught Violating the Texting and Driving Law?
A person convicted of a violation of Utah’s texting and driving laws is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor or a Class B misdemeanor if the use of a handheld device results in serious bodily injury to another and if the offender has a previous conviction within the last three years.
What Are the Texting and Driving Laws for Teenagers in Utah?
Utah law prohibits drivers younger than age 18 from using cell phones while driving. A violation is a $25 citation. However, the citation doesn’t go on the teen’s permanent driving record. Teen drivers can still call in a medical problem or a road hazard, as well as report a crime. They can also call their parents or guardians.
How Can I Prove that Someone Was Texting Before an Accident?
To prove that someone is texting before an accident, authorities can check the phone data to verify. Bystanders or witnesses to the accidents can also be interviewed. Accident reconstruction may be helpful to point to a driver’s level of distraction leading up to the crash. Finally, you can use the case-building process, including testimony under oath, to pressure the driver to admit what really happened. An experienced attorney for texting car accidents can help you take all of these steps effectively and build the evidence in your favor.