ST. GEORGE — A proposed bill that could affect every driver on Utah’s roadways, but has failed to pass through the Utah State Legislature for years, is set to steer its way back before lawmakers for the upcoming 2020 legislative session.
The Distracted Driver Amendments, known officially this session as HB 101, would make holding and using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle a primary offense, and allow law enforcement the ability to pull someone over for violating it.
The bill dictates that drivers use hands-free devices only and has once again been brought forth by Rep. Carol Spackman-Moss, D-Holladay, with hopes of finding more support among her colleagues this time around.
“It’s about driving safely for your own sake and the sake of others,” Rep. Moss said in a recent interview.
Distraction comes in many forms, but anything that pulls attention off the road can be disastrous. Talking on the phone, sending a text or instant message, and using GPS navigation, are all ways to be easily distracted and endanger yourself and other drivers.
Not everyone is convinced that enacting more legislation to prevent distracted driving will be the correct solution to the problem. In a statement posted to their website, the Libertas Institute repeated their concerns from previous years, stating that the new law is extreme and unwarranted.