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HB 255: "An Act prohibiting the driver of a motor vehicle from reading or typing a text message or other nonvoice message or communication on a cellular telephone, computer, or personal data assistant while driving a motor vehicle."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 255                                                                          
01 "An Act prohibiting the driver of a motor vehicle from reading or typing a text message                                 
02 or other nonvoice message or communication on a cellular telephone, computer, or                                        
03 personal data assistant while driving a motor vehicle."                                                                 
04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
05    * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                          
06 to read:                                                                                                                
07       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is expressly to provide that the                                    
08 use of a cellular telephone, computer, personal data assistant, or any other similar means for                          
09 texting or communicating in a manner proscribed by AS 28.35.161 is prohibited. It is the                                
10 opinion of the legislature that the use of these devices in a manner proscribed by                                      
11 AS 28.35.161 is currently illegal in the state.                                                                         
12    * Sec. 2. AS 28.35.161(a) is amended to read:                                                                      
13            (a)  A person commits the crime of driving while texting, while                                          
14       communicating on a computer, or while [WITH] a screen device is operating if [(1)]                        
01       the person is driving a motor vehicle, and                                                                    
02                 (1)  [; (2)] the vehicle has a television, video monitor, portable                                  
03       computer, or any other similar means capable of providing a visual display that is in                             
04       full view of a driver in a normal driving position while the vehicle is in motion, and [;                     
05       AND (3)] the monitor or visual display is operating while the person is driving; or                           
06                 (2)  the person is reading or typing a text message or other                                        
07       nonvoice message or communication on a cellular telephone, personal data                                      
08       assistant, computer, or any other similar means capable of providing a visual                                 
09       display that is in the view of the driver in a normal driving position while the                              
10       vehicle is in motion and while the person is driving.                                                         
11    * Sec. 3. AS 28.35.161(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
12            (b)  A person may not install or alter equipment described in (a) [(a)(2)] of this                       
13       section that allows the images to be viewed by the driver in a normal driving position                            
14       while the vehicle is in motion.                                                                                   
15    * Sec. 4. AS 28.35.161(c) is amended to read:                                                                      
16            (c)  Subsections (a) and (b) of this section do not apply to                                                 
17                 (1)  portable cellular telephones or personal data assistants being used                                
18       for voice [VERBAL] communication or displaying caller identification information;                             
19                 (2)  equipment that is displaying only                                                                  
20                      (A)  audio equipment information, functions, and controls;                                         
21                      (B)  vehicle information or controls related to speed, fuel level,                                 
22            battery charge, and other vehicle safety or equipment information;                                           
23                      (C)  navigation or global positioning;                                                             
24                      (D)  maps;                                                                                         
25                      (E)  visual information to                                                                         
26                           (i)  enhance or supplement the driver's view forward,                                         
27                 behind, or to the sides of the motor vehicle for the purpose of                                         
28                 maneuvering the vehicle; or                                                                             
29                           (ii)  allow the driver to monitor vehicle occupants seated                                    
30                 behind the driver;                                                                                      
31                      (F)  vehicle dispatching and response information for motor                                        
01            vehicles providing emergency road service or roadside assistance;                                            
02                      (G)  vehicle dispatching information for passenger transport or                                    
03            freight or package delivery;                                                                                 
04                      (H)  information for use in performing highway construction,                                       
05            maintenance, or repair or data acquisition by the Department of Transportation                               
06            and Public Facilities or a municipality; or                                                                  
07                      (I)  information for use in performing utility construction,                                       
08            maintenance, repair, or data acquisition by a public utility; in this                                        
09            subparagraph, "public utility" has the meaning given in AS 42.05.990.