Distracted driving in Utah is defined as anything that takes the drivers attention off of the road. This includes:

  • Texting or using a cell phone
  • Reading
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Watching a video
  • Talking to passengers
  • Adjusting the stereo
  • Attending to children

Texting and driving in Utah is illegal for drivers of all ages. Furthermore, careless driving is also prohibited, which is when a driver commits a moving violation while being distracted by a hand held cell phone or other distractions as listed above.

Laws

  • No texting or driving
  • No using a handheld cell phone while driving

The texting and driving law in Utah is one of the strictest in the country. It is considered a primary law, so a law enforcement officer can pull a driver over if they see them texting while driving, without committing any other moving violation. The handheld cell phone ban is a secondary law, which means the driver must first commit a moving violation before they can be pulled over.

Fines and penalties

  • Fine of $750 and up to three months in jail for texting and driving, which is considered a misdemeanor

  • If there is an injury or death involved, the fine is up to $10,000, up to 15 years in prison, and it is considered a felony

There are some exceptions to the texting and driving law.

Exceptions

  • Reporting or requesting assistance relating to a safety hazard

  • Medical emergency

  • Reporting or requesting assistance relating to a criminal activity

  • Emergency services personnel or law enforcement officers using their phone while working and within their scope of employment

Utah has strict texting and driving laws, and if caught, drivers can spend time in jail. Furthermore, if drivers are making phone calls while behind the wheel, they must use hands free devices. It is a good idea to put the cell phone away while driving for the safety of those in the vehicle and for the safety of others.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Utah and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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