PROHIBITED USE OF
ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE DRIVING
A. It is unlawful, except as otherwise provided herein, for any person to operate a motor vehicle upon a street or highway while using a mobile telephone, or other electronic device, to create, send, or read a text or instant message, or receive or transmit data, including but not limited to photographs, snapshots or electronically transmitted images, or any other data, whether the vehicle is in motion or not.
B. This section shall not apply to:
1. The use of a mobile telephone for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation:
a. an emergency response
b. a hospital, physician’s office or health clinic;
c. an ambulance company or corps;
d. a fire department, district or company;
e. a police department or sheriff’s office, including any law enforcement officers and police officers while in the discharge of their official duties;
f. emergency services officials, first aid, emergency medical technicians and personnel, or any fire safety officials in the performance of duties arising out of and in the course of their employment as such; and
2. The use of a hands-free mobile telephone when being used in a hands-free manner.
C. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a handheld mobile communication device. Unless otherwise provided by law, the handheld mobile communication device used in the violation of the provisions of this section is not subject to search by a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop made pursuant to the provisions of this section.
D. As used in this section the following terms are defined as follows:
1. “Driving” means being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway or street and includes being temporarily stopped because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign or otherwise, but “driving” excludes operating a motor vehicle when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of or off of an active roadway and has stopped at a location in which it can safely remain stationary;
2. “Text message, instant message, data, photographs, electronic images and snapshots” means a digital communication transmitted or intended to be transmitted between communication devices and includes electronic mail, an instant message, a text or image communication and a command or request to an Internet site; but “text message” excludes communications through the use of a computer-aided dispatch service by law enforcement or rescue personnel.
E. Upon the conviction or plea of nolo contendere for a violation of this section the person shall be fined as follows:
1. Every person under first conviction of this section shall be fined $50.00;
2. Every person who is convicted or pleads nolo contendere to a second violation of this section shall be fined $100.00; and
3. Every person who is convicted or pleads nolo contendere to a third and all subsequent violations of this section shall be fined no less than $150.00 and no more than $500.00.
Published in the Valencia County News-Bulletin on
April 22 & 29, 2021.
May 6 & 13, 2021.