NOTE: THIS IS A SUBSTITUTE BILL, MEANING THE LANGUAGE OF THE ORIGINAL BILL HAS BEEN REPLACED. THE DEGREE TO WHICH THE SUBSTITUTE BILL TEXT DIFFERS FROM THE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE TEXT CAN VARY GREATLY.
Vote to concur with Senate amendments and pass a bill that prohibits the use of a handheld wireless communication device to send text messages or emails while driving, and classifies the offense as a class C misdemeanor or a class B misdemeanor if aggravated circumstances exist.
-Classifies the offense as a Class B misdemeanor if the individual inflicts serious bodily injury as a proximate result of sending a text message or email while driving, or if the individual has a prior conviction within the past three years for sending a text message or email while driving (Sec. 1).
-Classifies the offense as a third degree felony if an individual is driving in a negligent manner while sending a text message or email and causes the death of another individual (Sec. 1).
-Defines "negligence" as simple negligence, meaning a failure to exercise a degree of care that a reasonable and prudent individual would exercise under the same or similar circumstances (Sec. 1).
-Classifies the offense as a second degree felony if an individual is driving in a criminally negligent manner while sending a text message or email and causes the death of another individual.
-Defines "criminal negligence" as circumstances surrounding an individual's conduct or the result of the individual's conduct in which that individual ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or will occur, such that a failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary individual would exercise (Sec. 1).
-Authorizes judges to suspend an individual's driver's license for a period of 3 months upon conviction for sending a text massage or email while driving (Sec. 1).
-Specifies that the provisions of this Act do not prohibit an individual from using a handheld wireless communication device while driving if the individual is (Sec. 1):
-Using the device during a medical emergency;
-Reporting a safety hazard or requesting assistance related to a safety hazard;
-Reporting criminal activity or requesting assistance related to criminal activity;
-Providing roadside or medical assistance; or
-A law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting in accordance with the requirements of their employment.
-Specifies that a "handheld wireless communication device" includes a wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, pager, or text messaging device (Sec. 1).
-This is a substitute bill sponsored by Sen. Lyle Hillyard.