§300.7. Use of certain wireless telecommunications devices by minors while driving
A. As used in this Section, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to
them as follows:
(1) "Engage in a call" means talking or listening on a cellular telephone.
(2) "Wireless telecommunications device" means any type of instrument, device, or
machine that is capable of transmitting or receiving telephonic, electronic, radio, text, or data
communications, including but not limited to a cellular telephone, a text-messaging device,
a personal digital assistant, a computer, or any other similar wireless device that is designed
to engage in a call or communicate text or data. It does not include citizens band radios,
citizens band radio hybrids, commercial two-way radio communication devices, or electronic
communication devices with a push-to-talk function.
(3) "Write, send or read a text-based communication" means to use a wireless
telecommunications device to communicate by using a text-based communication referred
to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.
B. Except in a driver emergency as provided in Subsection C of this Section, no
person who is seventeen years of age or younger shall operate a motor vehicle on any public
road or highway in this state while using any wireless telecommunications device to engage
in a call or write, send or read a text-based communication. Such device shall not include
citizens band radios, citizens band radio hybrids, commercial two-way radio communication
devices, or electronic communication devices with a push-to-talk function.
C. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to a person who uses a wireless
telecommunications device to do any of the following:
(1) Report a traffic crash, medical emergency, or serious road hazard.
(2) Report a situation in which the person believes his personal safety is in jeopardy.
(3) Report or avert the perpetration or potential perpetration of a criminal act against
the driver or another person.
(4) Engage in a call or write, send or read a text-based communication while the
motor vehicle is lawfully parked.
D. Any violation of this Section shall constitute a moving violation.
E.(1)(a) A first violation of the provisions of this Section shall be punishable by a
fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars.
(b) Each subsequent violation shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five
hundred dollars and a suspension of driver's license for a sixty-day period.
(c) If the person is involved in a crash at the time of violation, then the law
enforcement officer investigating the crash shall indicate on the written accident report that
the person was using a wireless telecommunications device and the fine shall be equal to
double the amount of the standard fine imposed in this Subsection.
(2) It shall be an affirmative defense against an alleged violation for the person to
produce documentary or other evidence that the wireless telecommunications device that is
the basis of the alleged violation was used for emergency purposes as provided in Subsection
C of this Section.
Acts 2008, No. 666, §1, eff. July 1, 2008; Acts 2010, No. 203, §1; Acts 2016, No.
472, §2, eff. June 13, 2016.