This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Rep. Jake Anderegg decided Thursday to abandon a bill that would have allowed one-touch use of cellphones while driving.
He said that Senate amendments had "turned it into something I really didn't want." That included banning holding phones up to the ear while driving, but allowing use of speaker or hands-free options.
Anderegg, R-Lehi, originally sought largely to erase the year-old law that banned any manipulation of cellphones while driving. Police requested the law because many people who were pulled over for illegal texting often claimed they were dialing instead, making it tough to enforce the texting ban.
Meanwhile, Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, sought to go the other direction with a separate bill, and originally sought to ban all but hands-free use of phones while driving.
They attempted to meet in the middle, and the Senate passed earlier Thursday what Urquhart described as "hands-free light. We clarify that you can push a button" once to call or answer a phone or to use voice commands, as Anderegg sought.
Such use is technically outlawed by last year's law.
Urquhart, however, also said the bill would ban holding a phone up to the ear, but allow using speaker-phone or hand-free options. Anderegg said he decided that went too far, and abandoned the bill as it returned to the House to consider amendments.
"We'll live with the current law for another year, and try another bill then," he said.