2015 Bills

HB63: Reversing Course on Cell Phones While Driving

To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker.
Click here to contact the sponsor of the bill to share your thoughts, or
click here to email your Senator and Representative about it.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

In the 2014 general session, a bill sponsored by Senator Steve Urquhart enacted more stringent bans on the use of cell phones while driving. The bill passed despite a fair amount of opposition in both chambers.

Representative Jake Anderegg has introduced House Bill 63 in an attempt to revert the law to the way it was prior to Senator Urquhart’s bill. Among other things, passage of this new legislation would allow drivers to make and receive phone calls or use a GPS navigation application while driving—something that has now been prohibited.

While reverting to the previous law is not ideal—the law needs some revision to be more palatable—it is preferable to the current ban which simply has led many drivers to continue their cell phone activity, but in their laps rather than in their line of sight with the steering wheel and windshield, so as not to be caught by law enforcement officers. This dangerous behavioral change increases the likelihood that an accident will occur.

The current law allows for voice-based interaction with the cell phone while driving, but recent studies have shown that the level of concentration required to control these devices through voice commands is a significant distraction. We favor increasing the penalty for drivers who actually harm or kill another person if it can be proven that they were knowingly distracted (and not just will mobile devices), rather than imposing a general prohibition on people who have not violated anybody’s rights. As such, we support this bill and encourage legislators to go further in reforming the underlying law.

  • utpolcapitol

    LibertasUtah It appears that you may be right, will take a look and correct.

  • TaylorRosecrans

    LibertasUtah utpolcapitol Hallelujah! Thanks for this bill Political_Jake !!

  • George Chapman

    Please email all your contacts to emil your Representatives.  It just barely made it out of Committee.  Last year’s law was the equivalent of the 55 mph speed limit.  But Rep. Anderegg needs help to pass this.  Only one person spoke for the bill.  George Chapman 801 867 7071