Senate Bill #175 (2017)

AN ACT RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES - MOBILE TELEPHONE USE

Prohibits the use of a non-hands-free personal wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, except for public safety personnel or in an emergency situation, and would provide for monetary fines for violations.

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Changes since original draft

  • 2017 – S 0175
  • 2017 – S 0175 SUBSTITUTE A
  • ========
  • LC000691
  • LC000691/SUB A
  • ========
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2017
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES - MOBILE TELEPHONE USE
  • Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, Lombardo, Coyne, Conley, and Lombardi
  • Date Introduced: February 01, 2017
  • Referred To: Senate Judiciary
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Chapter 31-22 of the General Laws entitled "Miscellaneous Rules" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
  • 31-22-31. Mobile telephone usage by motor vehicle operators.
  • (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
  • (1) "Mobile telephone" means a personal wireless communication device, analog, wireless or digital telephone capable of sending or receiving telephone communication without an access line for service.
  • (2) "Using" or "use" means holding a hand-held personal wireless communication device to, or in the immediate proximity of, the user's ear.
  • (3) "Hand-held personal wireless communication device" means a personal wireless communication device with which a user engages in a call using at least one hand.
  • (4) "Hands-free accessory" means an attachment, add-on, built-in feature, or addition to a personal wireless communication device, whether or not permanently installed in a motor vehicle, that, when used, allows the vehicle operator to maintain both hands on the steering wheel.
  • (5) "Hands-free personal wireless communication device" means a hand-held personal wireless communication device that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such hand-held personal wireless communication device, by which a user engages in a call without the use of either hand, whether or not the use of either hand is necessary to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone.
  • (6) "Engage in a call" means talking into or listening on a hand-held personal wireless communication device, but does not include holding a hand-held personal wireless communication device to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone.
  • (7) "Immediate proximity" means the distance that permits the operator of a hand-held personal wireless communication device to hear telecommunications transmitted over such hand- held personal wireless communication device, but does not require physical contact with such operator's ear.
  • SECTION 1. Chapter 31-22 of the General Laws entitled "Miscellaneous Rules" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
  • 31-22-31. Mobile telephone usage by motor vehicle operators.
  • (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
  • (1) "Engage in a call" means talking into or listening on a hand-held personal wireless communication device, but does not include holding a hand-held personal wireless communication device to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone.
  • (2) "Hands-free accessory" means an attachment, add-on, built-in feature, or addition to a personal wireless communication device, whether or not permanently installed in a motor vehicle, that, when used, allows the vehicle operator to maintain both hands on the steering wheel.
  • (3) "Hands-free personal wireless communication device" means a hand-held personal wireless communication device that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such hand-held personal wireless communication device, by which a user engages in a call without the use of either hand, whether or not the use of either hand is necessary to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone.
  • (4) "Hand-held personal wireless communication device" means a personal wireless communication device with which a user engages in a call using at least one hand.
  • (5) "Immediate proximity" means the distance that permits the operator of a hand-held personal wireless communication device to hear telecommunications transmitted over such hand- held personal wireless communication device, but does not require physical contact with such operator's ear.
  • (6) "Mobile telephone" means a personal wireless communication device, analog, wireless or digital telephone capable of sending or receiving telephone communication without an access line for service.
  • (7) "Public utility" means a business that provides electricity, natural gas, water, and communications and other information services to residential and commercial customers.
  • (8) "Using" or "use" means holding a hand-held personal wireless communication device to, or in the immediate proximity of, the user's ear.
  • (b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle, while using a hand-held personal wireless communication device to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion.
  • (2) An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a hand-held personal wireless communication device to, or in the immediate proximity of, their ear while such vehicle is in motion is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section. The presumption established by this subsection is rebuttable by evidence tending to show that the operator was not engaged in a call.
  • (2) An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a hand-held personal wireless communication device to, or in the immediate proximity of, the operator's ear while such vehicle is in motion is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by evidence tending to show that the operator was not engaged in a call.
  • (3) The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a hand-held personal wireless communication device, unless otherwise provided by law.
  • (4) Subsection (b)(1) of this section shall not apply to:
  • (i) The use of a hand-held personal wireless communication device for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency response operator; a hospital, physician's office or health clinic; an ambulance company; a fire department; or a police department; or
  • (ii) Any of the following persons while in the performance of their official duties and within the scope of their employment: a peace officer, as defined in §12-7-21, a firefighter or an operator of an ambulance or authorized emergency vehicle, or the operator of a taxi cab, tow truck or bus without passengers; or
  • (i) The use of a hand-held personal wireless communication device for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency response operator; a hospital, physician's office or health clinic; an ambulance company; a fire department; a police department; or a public utility; or
  • (ii) Any of the following persons while in the performance of their official duties and within the scope of their employment: a peace officer, as defined in §12-7-21, a firefighter or an operator of an ambulance or authorized emergency vehicle, or the operator of a taxi cab, tow truck or bus without passengers; or employees or agents of a public utility; or
  • (iii) The use of a hands-free personal wireless communication device.
  • (c) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (b)(1) of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100) except that the fine shall be suspended for a first time violator, who provides proof of acquisition of a hands-free accessory subsequent to the violation, but prior to the imposition of a fine.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on June 1, 2018.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on June 1, 2018. ======== LC000691/SUB A ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES - MOBILE TELEPHONE USE
  • ***
  • ***
  • This act would prohibit the use of a non-hands-free personal wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, except for public safety personnel or in an emergency situation, and would provide for monetary fines for violations.
  • This act would take effect on June 1, 2018. ======== LC000691 ========
  • This act would take effect on June 1, 2018. ======== LC000691/SUB A ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for Passage

April 11, 2017 at 4:35pm
Yeas: 33 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 4 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Cote Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley Y
Sen. DaPonte Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Doyle Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Fogarty Y
Sen. Gallo NV
Sen. Gee Y
Sen. Goldin NV
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Jabour Y
Sen. Kettle Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada NV
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan NV
Sen. Sosnowski Y

Floor vote for PASSAGE

June 29, 2017 at 5:01pm
Yeas: 68 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 7 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Rep. Abney Y
Rep. Ackerman Y
Rep. Ajello Y
Rep. Almeida Y
Rep. Amore Y
Rep. Azzinaro Y
Rep. Barros NV
Rep. Bennett Y
Rep. Blazejewski Y
Rep. Canario Y
Rep. Carson Y
Rep. Casey Y
Rep. Casimiro Y
Rep. Chippendale Y
Rep. Corvese Y
Rep. Costantino NV
Rep. Coughlin NV
Rep. Craven Y
Rep. Cunha NV
Rep. Diaz Y
Rep. Donovan Y
Rep. Edwards Y
Rep. Fellela Y
Rep. Filippi Y
Rep. Fogarty Y
Rep. Giarrusso Y
Rep. Handy Y
Rep. Hearn Y
Rep. Hull Y
Rep. Jacquard Y
Rep. Johnston Y
Rep. Kazarian NV
Rep. Keable Y
Rep. Kennedy Y
Rep. Knight Y
Rep. Lancia Y
Rep. Lima Y
Rep. Lombardi Y
Rep. Maldonado Y
Rep. Marshall Y
Rep. Marszalkowski Y
Rep. Mattiello Y
Rep. McEntee Y
Rep. McKiernan Y
Rep. McLaughlin Y
Rep. McNamara Y
Rep. Mendonca Y
Rep. Messier Y
Rep. Morgan Y
Rep. Morin Y
Rep. Nardolillo Y
Rep. Newberry Y
Rep. Nunes Y
Rep. O'Brien Y
Rep. O'Grady Y
Rep. Perez Y
Rep. Phillips NV
Rep. Price NV
Rep. Quattrocchi Y
Rep. Ranglin-Vassell Y
Rep. Regunberg Y
Rep. Roberts Y
Rep. Ruggiero Y
Rep. Serpa Y
Rep. Shanley Y
Rep. Shekarchi Y
Rep. Slater Y
Rep. Solomon Y
Rep. Tanzi Y
Rep. Tobon Y
Rep. Ucci Y
Rep. Vella-Wilkinson Y
Rep. Walsh Y
Rep. Williams Y
Rep. Winfield Y

Floor vote for Passage In Concurrence

June 30, 2017 at 6:58pm
Yeas: 35 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 2 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Cote Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley NV
Sen. DaPonte Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Doyle NV
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Fogarty Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Gee Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Jabour Y
Sen. Kettle Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y