New bill could punish drivers for cell phone use

By By Trent Lowe, Staff Writer

By Trent Lowe, Staff Writer

The adage used to be: “Don’t drink and drive.” Add to that: “Don’t talk and drive.”

Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, sponsor of House Bill 248, is looking to make it illegal to talk on a cellular phone while driving, unless a hands-free device is being used.

The bill would have charged offenders with a class C misdemeanor, but when it failed to pass a House of Representatives committee, the bill was rewritten and submitted again. The new wording removes the misdemeanor clause and allows the law to only be enforced as a secondary violation.

The bill was resubmitted to the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee for further vote, but was held by the committee for further review.

A house committee will re-examine the bill after more amendments have been made.

Trent Lowe