§ 11.38.390. Unlawful text messaging

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  • (a) As used in this section:

    (1) "Wireless communication device" means any wireless electronic communication device that provides for voice or data communication between two or more parties, including, but not limited to, a mobile or cellular telephone, a text messaging device, a personal digital assistant that sends or receives messages, an audio-video player that sends or receives messages or a laptop computer. "Wireless communication device" does not include a device which is voice-operated and which allows the user to send or receive a text based communication without the use of either hand, except to activate or deactivate a feature or function.

    (2) "Write, send or read a written communication" means using a wireless communication device to manually type, send or read a written communication, including, but not limited to, a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.

    (b) Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d), no person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public road or highway while using a wireless communications device to write, send or read a written communication.

    (c) The provisions of subsection (b) shall not apply to:

    (1) A law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting within the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's or emergency service personnel's employment;

    (2) A motor vehicle stopped off the regular traveled portion of the roadway;

    (3) A person who reads, selects or enters a telephone number or name in a wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a phone call;

    (4) A person who receives an emergency, traffic or weather alert message; or

    (5) A person receiving a message related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle.

    (d) The provisions of subsection (b) shall not prohibit a person from using a wireless communications device while operating a moving motor vehicle to:

    (1) Report current or ongoing illegal activity to law enforcement;

    (2) Prevent imminent injury to a person or property; or

    (3) Relay information between transit or for-hire operator and the operator's dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the motor vehicle.

    (e) Upon conviction of a violation under this section, a fine of up to $500.00 shall be imposed.

(Ord. No. 48-806, § 1, 8-24-2010)