House File 75 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to the use of an electronic communication
2device in a voice-activated or hands-free mode while
3driving, providing penalties, and making penalties
4applicable.
5BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 321.178, subsection 2, paragraph
2a, subparagraph (2), Code 2021, is amended by striking the
3subparagraph.
4   Sec. 2.  Section 321.178, subsection 2, paragraphs b and c,
5Code 2021, are amended to read as follows:
   6b.  The department may suspend a restricted driver’s license
7issued under this section upon receiving satisfactory evidence
8that the licensee has violated the restrictions imposed under
9paragraph “a”, subparagraph (2), subparagraph division (a).

10 The department may also suspend a restricted license issued
11under this section upon receiving a record of the person’s
12conviction for one violation and shall revoke the license upon
13receiving a record of conviction for two or more violations
14of a law of this state or a city ordinance regulating the
15operation of motor vehicles on highways, other than parking
16violations as defined in section 321.210. After revoking a
17license under this section the department shall not grant an
18application for a new license or permit until the expiration
19of one year or until the person attains the age of eighteen,
20whichever is the longer period.
   21c.  A person who violates the restrictions imposed under
22paragraph “a”, subparagraph (2), subparagraph division (a),
23may be issued a citation under this section and shall not be
24issued a citation under section 321.193. A violation of the
25restrictions imposed under paragraph “a”, subparagraph (2),
26subparagraph division (a), shall not be considered a moving
27violation.
28   Sec. 3.  Section 321.180B, subsection 3, paragraph b, Code
292021, is amended to read as follows:
   30b.  The department may suspend an instruction permit,
31intermediate license, or full license issued under this section
32upon receiving satisfactory evidence that the person issued
33the instruction permit, intermediate license, or full license
34violated the restrictions imposed under subsection 1, or 2, or
356
during the term of the instruction permit or intermediate
-1-1license.
2   Sec. 4.  Section 321.180B, subsection 6, Code 2021, is
3amended by striking the subsection.
4   Sec. 5.  Section 321.180B, subsection 7, Code 2021, is
5amended to read as follows:
   67.  Citations for violation of restrictions.  A person who
7violates the restrictions imposed under subsection 1, or 2, or
86
may be issued a citation under this section and shall not be
9issued a citation under section 321.193. A violation of the
10restrictions imposed under subsection 1, or 2, or 6 shall not
11be considered a moving violation.
12   Sec. 6.  Section 321.194, subsection 2, paragraph b,
13subparagraph (2), Code 2021, is amended by striking the
14subparagraph.
15   Sec. 7.  Section 321.210, subsection 2, paragraph e, Code
162021, is amended by striking the paragraph.
17   Sec. 8.  Section 321.276, subsection 1, Code 2021, is amended
18by striking the subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the
19following:
   201.  For purposes of this section:
   21a.  “Electronic communication device” means an electronic
22device capable of being used to compose, send, receive, or
23read an electronic message. “Electronic communication device”
24includes but is not limited to a telephone, personal digital
25assistant, and portable or mobile computer. “Electronic
26communication device”
does not include a device that is
27physically or electronically integrated into a motor vehicle,
28including but not limited to an integrated global positioning
29system or navigation system.
   30b.  “Voice-activated or hands-free mode” means an attachment,
31accessory, application, wireless connection, or built-in
32feature of an electronic communication device or motor vehicle
33that allows a person to use verbal or single-touch commands to
34activate or deactivate the device or a function or software
35application of the device. “Voice-activated or hands-free
-2-1mode”
does not include accessing nonnavigation video content,
2engaging in a video call, accessing or engaging in video
3streaming, accessing gaming data, or reading an electronic
4message.
5   Sec. 9.  Section 321.276, subsections 2, 3, and 4, Code 2021,
6are amended to read as follows:
   72.  A person shall not use a hand-held an electronic
8communication device to write, send, or view an electronic
9message
while driving a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle
10is at a complete stop off the traveled portion of the roadway.
   11a.  A person does not violate this section by using a global
12positioning system or navigation system or when, for the
13purpose of engaging in a call, the person selects or enters a
14telephone number or name in a hand-held mobile telephone or
15activates, deactivates, or initiates a function of a hand-held
16mobile telephone
 an electronic communication device in a
17voice-activated or hands-free mode
.
   18b.  The provisions of this subsection relating to writing,
19sending, or viewing an electronic message
 the use of an
20electronic communication device
do not apply to the following
21persons:
   22(1)  A member of a public safety agency, as defined in
23section 34.1, performing official duties.
   24(2)  A health care professional in the course of an emergency
25situation.
   26(3)  A person receiving safety-related information including
27emergency, traffic, or weather alerts.
   28(4)  A person using an electronic communication device for
29the purpose of reporting an emergency situation, including any
30continued communication with emergency personnel during the
31emergency situation, or public transit personnel responding to
32a transit-specific situation.
   33(5)  A person using a two-way radio transmitter or receiver
34who is licensed with the federal communications commission in
35amateur radio service.
-3-
   1(6)  A member of a public transit system, as defined in
2section 324A.1, performing official duties while in a vehicle
3that is not in motion.
   43.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize
5a peace officer to confiscate a hand-held an electronic
6communication device from the driver or occupant of a motor
7vehicle.
   84.  a.  A person convicted of a violation of this section
9is guilty of a simple misdemeanor punishable as a scheduled
10violation under section 805.8A, subsection 14, paragraph “l”.
   11b.  A violation of this section shall not be considered a
12moving violation for purposes of this chapter or rules adopted
13pursuant to this chapter.
   14c.  Notwithstanding paragraphs “a” and “b”, a peace officer
15shall issue a warning memorandum in lieu of a citation to a
16person for violating this section. This paragraph is repealed
17January 1, 2022.
18   Sec. 10.  Section 321.482A, unnumbered paragraph 1, Code
192021, is amended to read as follows:
   20Notwithstanding section 321.482, a person who is convicted
21of operating a motor vehicle in violation of section 321.178,
22subsection 2, paragraph “a”, subparagraph (2), section
23321.180B, subsection 6, section 321.194, subsection 2,
24paragraph “b”, subparagraph (2),
section 321.256, 321.257,
25section 321.275, subsection 4, section 321.276, 321.297,
26321.298, 321.299, 321.302, 321.303, 321.304, 321.305, 321.306,
27321.307, 321.311, 321.319, 321.320, 321.321, 321.322, 321.323,
28321.324, 321.324A, 321.327, 321.329, 321.333, section 321.372,
29subsection 3, or section 321.449B, causing serious injury to
30or the death of another person may be subject to the following
31penalties in addition to the penalty provided for a scheduled
32violation in section 805.8A or any other penalty provided by
33law:
34   Sec. 11.  Section 321.555, subsection 2, Code 2021, is
35amended to read as follows:
-4-   12.  Six or more of any separate and distinct offenses within
2a two-year period in the operation of a motor vehicle, which
3are required to be reported to the department by section
4321.491 or chapter 321C, except equipment violations, parking
5violations as defined in section 321.210, violations of
6registration laws, violations of sections 321.445 and 321.446,
7violations of section 321.276, operating a vehicle with an
8expired license or permit, failure to appear, weights and
9measures violations and speeding violations of less than
10fifteen miles per hour over the legal speed limit.
11   Sec. 12.  Section 707.6A, subsection 2, paragraph a,
12subparagraphs (1), (2), and (3), Code 2021, are amended by
13striking the subparagraphs and inserting in lieu thereof the
14following:
   15(1)  For purposes of this paragraph “a”, a person’s use of an
16electronic communication device while driving a motor vehicle
17shall be considered prima facie evidence that the person was
18driving the motor vehicle in a reckless manner with willful
19or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, in
20violation of section 321.277.
   21(2)  Subparagraph (1) does not apply to any of the following:
   22(a)  A person using an electronic communication device in a
23voice-activated or hands-free mode.
   24(b)  A member of a public safety agency, as defined in
25section 34.1, performing official duties.
   26(c)  A health care professional in the course of an emergency
27situation.
   28(d)  A person receiving safety-related information including
29emergency or weather alerts.
   30(e)  A person using an electronic communication device for
31the purpose of reporting an emergency situation, including any
32continued communication with emergency personnel during the
33emergency situation, or public transit personnel responding to
34a transit-specific situation.
   35(f)  A person using a two-way radio transmitter or receiver
-5-1who is licensed with the federal communications commission in
2amateur radio service.
   3(g)  A member of a public transit system, as defined in
4section 324A.1, performing official duties while in a vehicle
5that is not in motion.
   6(3)  For purposes of this paragraph “a”, the following
7definitions apply:
   8(a)  “Electronic communication device” means the same as
9defined in section 321.276.
   10(b)  “Voice-activated or hands-free mode” means the same as
11defined in section 321.276.
12   Sec. 13.  Section 805.8A, subsection 4, paragraph c, Code
132021, is amended by striking the paragraph.
14   Sec. 14.  Section 805.8A, subsection 14, paragraph l, Code
152021, is amended to read as follows:
   16l.  Writing, sending, or viewing an Use of electronic message
17
 communication device while driving violations.
  For violations
18under section 321.276, the scheduled fine is forty-five one
19hundred
dollars.
20EXPLANATION
21The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
22the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   23Under current law, Code section 321.276 prohibits the use
24of hand-held electronic communication devices to write, send,
25or view electronic messages while driving a motor vehicle.
26This bill expands Code section 321.276 to prohibit any use
27of an electronic communication device while driving. The
28bill defines the terms “electronic communication device” and
29“voice-activated or hands-free mode”.
   30The bill exempts the use of an electronic communication
31device in a voice-activated or hands-free mode, for members of
32a public safety agency performing official duties, for health
33care professionals in the course of emergency situations,
34for the purpose of receiving safety-related information, for
35the purpose of reporting an emergency situation, for certain
-6-1radio operators, and for members of a public transit system
2performing official duties while in a vehicle that is not in
3motion.
   4The bill makes a violation of Code section 321.276 a moving
5violation. Under current law, a moving violation can be
6considered for purposes of administrative suspension of a
7driver’s license or to establish habitual offender status.
8However, a peace officer is required to issue a warning
9memorandum in lieu of a citation for violations that occur
10during the period of time between the effective date of the
11bill and January 1, 2022.
   12The bill increases the scheduled fine for a violation of Code
13section 321.276 from $45 to $100. Under Code section 321.482A,
14if the violation causes a serious injury, a court could impose
15an additional fine of $500 or suspend the person’s driver’s
16license for not more than 90 days, or both. If the violation
17causes a death, a court could impose an additional fine of
18$1,000 or suspend the person’s driver’s license for not more
19than 180 days, or both.
   20The bill makes corresponding changes to Code section 707.6A
21(homicide or serious injury by vehicle) to align the provisions
22of that Code section related to the use of an electronic
23communication device while driving to the provisions of Code
24section 321.276 as amended by the bill. The bill also makes
25corresponding changes to Code sections 321.178, 321.180B,
26and 321.194, by striking provisions relating to the use of
27electronic communication devices while driving by persons
28under the age of 18 who are issued certain types of driver’s
29licenses, thereby making Code section 321.276 as amended by the
30bill applicable to such persons.
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th/ns