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Utah lawmaker to try again to ban hand-held cellphones while driving

Utah lawmaker to try again to ban hand-held cellphones while driving

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SALT LAKE CITY — House Minority Whip Carol Spackman Moss has seen Utah drivers use their phones behind the wheel while they back out of parking stalls, navigate traffic, hunch over at stoplights, and even while they zip down the freeway.

According to Moss, D-Holladay, this is a matter of public safety. And in her effort to make Utah roads safer, Moss introduced HB101, which members of the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee will debate at 2 p.m. Friday.

It isn’t her first time. Moss has tried to get the same legislation passed each session for years.

Also on Capitol Hill, as bills wind their way through the process, senators may debate staying on daylight saving time year-round. SB59, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, passed in committee Jan. 30 and is sitting on the Senate’s reading calendar.

Floor time in both chambers begins at 11 a.m.

It is a light day for committee meetings, but the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee will look at Water Banking Amendments in SB26, which would create the Water Banking Act outlining the objectives of a water right banking system. Last year, Senate Minority Assistant Whip Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay, pushed for exploration of water banking in the agricultural community as an option when water is in short supply.

If drought, for example, precludes a farmer from irrigating his entire farm, the water banking option would allow him to lease a portion of his water right without fear of permanently giving that right up.

The bill passed the Senate on Jan. 31.

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