UTAH PROPOSED LAWS: WHERE CAN PEDESTRIANS WALK?

UTAH PROPOSED LAWS: WHERE CAN PEDESTRIANS WALK?


This article discusses the laws concerning where Utah pedestrians can legally walk according to state law.

Right of Way

The right of way in Utah is that any motor vehicle has the right of way on public roads until:

  • Utah pedestrians are using the same half of the road while on a crosswalk, or
  • Utah pedestrians are on the other half of the road while on a crosswalk but is close enough to the driver’s side of the road as to be in danger.

If anyone (1) of the above conditions apply to any given situation, the motor vehicle driver must yield to the pedestrians right of way.

Sidewalks

Utah pedestrians are allowed to walk and run on or near certain roads in Utah. The following conditions apply to pedestrians walking on a sidewalk:

  • A pedestrian must walk/run on a sidewalk if it is available, or
  • A pedestrian must walk/run on the farthest part of the road if a sidewalk is not available.

Utah pedestrians are encouraged to walk/run on the left side of the road as to be more visible to vehicles, and so that the pedestrian can see vehicles better.

Crosswalks

Pedestrians are required to cross roads within a crosswalk, marked or unmarked. Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, a pedestrian may not cross at any place except within a marked crosswalk. The pedestrian must cross within available and operating crosswalks. A pedestrian must not cross an intersection diagonally unless otherwise told by a traffic-code device.

Conclusion

Contact McMullin Legal Group in St. George, UT for answers to any further questions that you may have about pedestrian laws in the state of Utah. Make sure to visit our article page for informationon a variety of legal topics.

Utah Proposed Law – Driving Without Insurance

Utah Proposed Law – Driving Without Insurance

This article discusses the laws concerning driving without insurance in the state of Utah.

Current Law

Drivers are forbidden by law in the state of Utah to engage in driving without insurance. Drivers must be able to possess a proof of insurance, proof of registration and a valid driver’s license while driving. If a peace officer requests the proof of insurance, the driver must provide either a physical or electronic copy. If the person is driving without insurance, this is a breach of the law.

The state requires each driver to have $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $65,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident in property damage. With Utah being a no-fault state, the minimum legal insurance requirements are 25/65/25 and no-fault insurance of $3,000 per person. If someone has been driving without insurance and fails to provide insurance when requested from a peace officer of 25/65/25, they can be fined and/or cited with the possibility of suspended driving privileges.

Proposed Law

The proposed law for driving in Utah adds requirements from the current law. The proposed law requires drivers to provide security for their vehicle in any one of the following ways:

  1. Insurance policy;
  2. Insurance policy declaration page;
  3. Binder notice;
  4. Renewal notice; or
  5. Card issued by an insurance company as evidence of insurance.


With regard to the electronic version of evidence of insurance, a peace office viewing the electronic form of insurance may not view any other content on the mobile electronic device. If the peace officer inadvertently views content on the mobile device, that peace officer is not subject to civil liability.

If someone is guilty of driving without insurance, they can be guilty of a first offense and subject to a fine of not less than $400. A court may waive up to $300 of that $400 offense IF the person obtained insurance after the incident but before the court sentencing.

driving without insurance

Proposed Law – Driving Without Insurance

McMullin Legal Group

Utah Proposed Law – Distracted Driving

Utah Proposed Law – Distracted Driving

This article discusses the laws concerning distracted driving in the state of Utah. Distracted driving is a serious matter and is the cause of many accidents and deaths in Utah every year. Please avoid distracted driving at all costs and understand the laws in Utah.

Current Law

The current distracted driving law states that drivers cannot use their electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle to manually:

  1. Write, send, or read written communication; such as
    1. Texting
    2. Email
    3. Instant messaging
  2. Dial a phone number;
  3. Access the Internet;
  4. View or record video; or
  5. Enter any data into an electronic device.

The current distracted driving law states that operators of moving motor vehicles are not prohibited in using an electronic device:

  1. To communicate for voice communication;
  2. To navigate;
  3. In a medical emergency;
  4. To report a safety hazard;
  5. To report criminal activity;
  6. Such as law enforcement using electronic devices for their employment similarly to a citizen reporting a criminal activity; and
  7. Using the electronic device “hands-free”, or if the device is electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.

Proposed Law

For the proposed new distracted driving law that would replace the current law, the State of Utah would allow the operator of a moving motor vehicle to use an electronic device if it is “hands-free”. “Hands-free” is defined as “technology that allows the use of a handheld wireless communication device without manual manipulation, including a system physically”; electronically integrated devices in motor vehicles are considered “hands-free”.

Unlawful

Proposed new distracted driving law: what would be considered unlawful for the State of Utah regarding electronic device usage while operating a motor vehicle would be:

  1. Any electronic device usage outside of the definition of a “hands-free” device or an integrated electronic device, including but not limited to:
    1. Placing or receiving a voice communication;
    2. Texting;
    3. Email;
    4. Dialing phone numbers;
    5. Accessing the Internet;
    6. View/record video or photo; or
    7. Enter any data into an electronic device.

In other words, any electronic device usage while operating a vehicle that it not “hands-free” could land you a ticket. When someone uses their electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, they are putting themselves, their passengers, and other drivers at risk.

distracted driving mcmullin

Utah Proposed Law – Distracted Driving

McMullin Legal Group

Motorcycle Helmet Laws: State By State

Motorcycle Helmet Laws: State By State

This article discusses motorcycle helmet laws and how they differ from state to state.

Utah Law

In order to drive a motorcycle in Utah and if you are 20 years old or younger, you must wear protective headgear that complies with specifications under Utah law. If you are 20 years old or younger and violate motorcycle helmet laws, they are considered infractions.

State-by-State

There are 3 categories when it comes to Motorcycle Helmet laws in the U.S.

  1. Universal Law: all motorcycle operators must wear protective headgear. Some states also require all passengers to wear protective headgear as well. The affected states are: WA, OR, CA, NV, NE, MO, TN, AL, GA, MS, LA, NC, VA, WV, DC, MD, NJ, NY, VT, MA.
  2. Partial Law: Partial law is when the state can have its own rules and regulations related to motorcycle helmets. In Utah, anyone driving a motorcycle under 21 must wear protective headgear. In Florida, the same law applies, but the age is 20 instead of 21. Some states only apply their law of helmets while driving a motorcycle, and there is no law for passengers. In Colorado, the same law applies to those 17 and younger, AND 17 and younger passengers must wear protective gear as well. The affected states of partial law are: ID, UT, AZ, NM, AK, HI, TX, AR, OK, KS, SD, ND, MN, WI, MI, IN, OH, KY, SC, FL, PA, DE, CT, RI, ME.
  3. No Law: There are three states, Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire that do not have laws pertaining to motorcycle helmet use.

Motorcycle Passengers

In some states, there are no laws related to motorcycle drivers and wearing helmets; if they have a motorcycle driver’s license, they can drive a motorcycle and can choose to wear a helmet. Some states, however, require the passenger of a motorcycle to wear a helmet as well. The states that do require the motorcycle passenger of all ages to wear a helmet are:

CO, AK, ME (17 and younger), MI (20 and younger), ND, OH, RI, TX.

Common Problems, Crashes

There are several problems that occur when it comes to motorcycles helmet laws. The most common problems when it comes to the contribution of motorcyclists in motorcycle crashes are:

  1. Speeding
  2. Failing to keep in proper lane
  3. Following too closely

The most common problems when it comes to the contribution of other drivers in motorcycle crashes are:

  1. Failing to Yield
  2. Following too closely
  3. Improper turning

Utah Motorcycle Statistics

Motorcyclists account for around 3% of Utah drivers, but when it comes to fatalities on the road, 18% of fatalities are the result of a motorcycle crash. 60% of motorcyclists from 2012-2014 were wearing a helmet. From 2012 to 2014, there have been 3,848 motorcycles crashes, and only 108 people were killed in those crashes. It is dangerous when there is a crash with a car and a motorcycle,; however, 40% of the motorcycle crashes from 2012 to 2014 involved only the motorcycle and the motorcyclist(s).

Wrongful death by state

Wrongful death in Utah is defined as when someone is wrongfully killed in an accident, namely motorcycle accidents. When someone is killed wrongfully, the family or loved ones of the person killed has the right to sue the party who is responsible for the wrongful death, according to motorcycle helmet laws.

motorcycle helmet laws mcmullin

Motorcycle Helmet Laws: State-by-State

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

McMullin Legal Group

How Do I Fight A Traffic Ticket?

How Do I Fight A Traffic Ticket?

This article discusses the ins and outs of fighting a traffic ticket.

Ticket Definition

A traffic ticket or citation is given to someone when they have been deemed by a form of law enforcement for a violation of a specific law.  A ticket can be in the form of a fee, possible jail/community service time, and losing driving privileges. The most common types of violations are traffic violations, e.g. speeding, reckless driving, etc.  

Fighting the Ticket

You can fight a traffic ticket if you: (a) believe you undeservedly have been given a traffic ticket, AND (b) have the means or evidence to prove your innocence. If you believe firmly both of these to be true about your citation, then fighting a traffic ticket may be worth the effort.

When it comes to speeding in Utah, it is considered a “presumed” state for speed limits. This means that if you are going ten miles over the speed limit, a police officer presumes you as speeding; however, if it is 5 a.m. on a clear, dry morning and there were no cars on the wide, straight road and you are able to convince a judge or jury that you were driving completely safe, you should be acquitted (Driving Laws, Utah Speeding Laws). There are a few options for someone who has received a traffic ticket:

OPTION 1 – Plead Guilty

Simply accepting the citation as such and taking the necessary steps make restitution for the traffic ticket is your plea for guilty. If you fight the ticket and the judge or jury finds you guilty, the result could be, (a) you must comply with the original conditions of the ticket, and (b) can include any of the following:

  • Driving privileges suspended
  • Additional fines
  • Points added to your driving record
  • Community service
  • Jail time

OPTION 2 – Plea in Abeyance

A plea in abeyance is pleading guilty or no contest and having your plea held for one year; once you have a year of no tickets, your charges may be dismissed from your record. In other words, pleading in abeyance allows for your charges to never show up on your record if you do not have any tickets for one year after the original traffic ticket.

OPTION 3 – Plead Not guilty

In order to plead not guilty in Utah (pleading not guilty is the same as fighting a ticket), you must visit a justice court who will be regulating your case. Once your plea is recorded, the specific court regulating your case will give you a time and day to come back for a pretrial conference OR full trial. If the judge or jury finds you not guilty of your citation conditions, you can expect: (a) no points added to your driving record, (b) no fines or penalties to worry about, (c) all charges dropped for your citation, AND (d) your car insurance rates do not increase or decrease.

There are two claims for your defense in Utah for a speeding traffic violation resulting in a citation:

  1. You weren’t exceeding the speed limit
  2. Even if you were exceeding the posted speed limit, you were driving safely given the specific road, weather and traffic conditions at the time (this may not work).

Court Attendance

If you DO NOT attend court, you can face serious consequences, including but not limited to:

    • Losing your driving privileges
    • A warrant out for your arrest
    • Automatic guilty verdict

Citation Penalties

There are several penalties for violations of the law. However, in Utah, the penalties for exceeding the speed limit for the first time are:

  • Fined no more than $750
  • No more than 90 days of jail time
  • No more than one-year suspension of the violator’s license

Reckless driving is “willful or wanton for the safety of persons or property” or simply committing “three separate moving violations within a continuous three miles of driving”. Penalties for reckless driving for the first time are:

  • Up to 90 days jail time
  • Fined no more than $1000
  • License suspension no more than 3 months

Overview

Safety is of utmost importance while driving. Wearing your seatbelt at all times, driving at or under the speed limit, and driving at safe speeds under unsafe road conditions will help you get the most out of driving and allow you to be the safest you can be on the road. When we feel that we are undeservedly given a citation, we have the opportunity to fight it and have the possibility of being acquitted of all charges. We always have to remember, however, that law enforcement is here to keep us safe.

traffic ticket mcmullin

How Do I Fight A Traffic Ticket?

Traffic Ticket

McMullin Legal Group