Enrolled HB 255: Relating to screen devices in motor vehicles; 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; and providing for an effective date.
00Enrolled HB 255 01 Relating to screen devices in motor vehicles; prohibiting the driver of a motor vehicle from 02 reading or typing a text message or other nonvoice message or communication on a cellular 03 telephone, computer, or personal data assistant while driving a motor vehicle; and providing 04 for an effective date. 05 _______________ 06 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 07 to read: 08 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is to conform and clarify that 09 the use of a cellular telephone, computer, personal data assistant, or any other similar means 10 for texting or communicating in a manner prohibited by AS 28.35.161 has been illegal since 11 AS 28.35.161 was enacted and that the December 1, 2011, magistrate's decision in State v. 12 Adams, 3KN-11-719 CR, is legally incorrect. 13 * Sec. 2. AS 28.35.161(a) is amended to read: 14 (a) A person commits the crime of driving while texting, while
01 communicating on a computer, or while [WITH] a screen device is operating if [(1)] 02 the person is driving a motor vehicle, and 03 (1) [; (2)] the vehicle has a television, video monitor, portable 04 computer, or any other similar means capable of providing a visual display that is in 05 full view of a driver in a normal driving position while the vehicle is in motion, and [; 06 AND (3)] the monitor or visual display is operating while the person is driving; or 07 (2) the person is reading or typing a text message or other 08 nonvoice message or communication on a cellular telephone, personal data 09 assistant, computer, or any other similar means capable of providing a visual 10 display that is in the view of the driver in a normal driving position while the 11 vehicle is in motion and while the person is driving. 12 * Sec. 3. AS 28.35.161(b) is amended to read: 13 (b) A person may not install or alter equipment described in (a) [(a)(2)] of this 14 section that allows the images to be viewed by the driver in a normal driving position 15 while the vehicle is in motion. 16 * Sec. 4. AS 28.35.161(c) is amended to read: 17 (c) Subsections (a) and (b) of this section do not apply to 18 (1) portable cellular telephones or personal data assistants being used 19 for voice [VERBAL] communication or displaying caller identification information; 20 (2) equipment that is displaying only 21 (A) audio equipment information, functions, and controls; 22 (B) vehicle information or controls related to speed, fuel level, 23 battery charge, and other vehicle safety or equipment information; 24 (C) navigation or global positioning; 25 (D) maps; 26 (E) visual information to 27 (i) enhance or supplement the driver's view forward, 28 behind, or to the sides of the motor vehicle for the purpose of 29 maneuvering the vehicle; or 30 (ii) allow the driver to monitor vehicle occupants seated 31 behind the driver;
01 (F) vehicle dispatching and response information for motor 02 vehicles providing emergency road service or roadside assistance; 03 (G) vehicle dispatching information for passenger transport or 04 freight or package delivery; 05 (H) information for use in performing highway construction, 06 maintenance, or repair or data acquisition by the Department of Transportation 07 and Public Facilities or a municipality; or 08 (I) information for use in performing utility construction, 09 maintenance, repair, or data acquisition by a public utility; in this 10 subparagraph, "public utility" has the meaning given in AS 42.05.990. 11 * Sec. 5. AS 28.35.161(d) is amended to read: 12 (d) Subsections (a) and (b) of this section do not apply to devices and 13 equipment installed in an emergency vehicle, whether removable or permanently 14 installed, or to the viewing of authorized screen devices by police, fire, or 15 emergency medical service personnel if the user of the equipment or device 16 reasonably believes the information on the device is necessary to respond to a 17 health, safety, or criminal matter. In this subsection, "emergency vehicle" means a 18 police, fire, or emergency medical service vehicle. 19 * Sec. 6. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).