§ 27-51-1501. Title.
Paul’s Law: To Prohibit Drivers of Motor Vehicles from Using Handheld Wireless Telephones To Engage in Text Messaging
§ 27-51-1502. Purpose.
The purpose of this subchapter is to:
(1) Improve the safety of the roads for all drivers and passengers by prohibiting a driver of a motor vehicle from engaging in text messaging;
(2) Prevent accidents caused by the distractive practice of text messaging while operating a motor vehicle;
(3) Preserve human life and maintain the safety of the citizens of the State of Arkansas and visitors to our state by taking steps to reduce motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and deaths;
(4) Reduce health care costs, health insurance rates, and automobile insurance rates by attempting to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents that cause injury, death, and property damage; and
(5) Reduce the amount of time that law enforcement and the court system work on accidents and offenses arising out of motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers who are distracted by sending or reading text messages.
§ 27-51-1503. Definitions.
As used in this subchapter:
(A) “Handheld wireless telephone” means a wireless interactive communication device with which a user can engage in a text-based communication using at least one (1) hand or by reading a text-based communication.
(B) “Handheld wireless telephone” does not include a:
(i) Hands-free wireless telephone or device;
(ii) Citizens band radio; or
(iii) Citizens band radio hybrid;
(A) “Hands-free wireless telephone or device” means a wireless telephone or other wireless communication device that allows a user to engage in text-based communication without the use of either hand with an:
(i) Internal feature or function; or
(ii) Attachment or additional device.
(B) A hands-free wireless telephone or device may be a permanent or temporary part of the wireless telephone or other wireless communication device.
(C) A hands-free wireless telephone or device may require the use of either hand to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the wireless telephone or other communication device; and
(3) “Wireless interactive communication” means typing, text messaging, emailing, or accessing information on the Internet with a handheld wireless telephone.
§ 27-51-1504. Use of a handheld wireless telephone when driving.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, a driver of a motor vehicle shall not use a handheld wireless telephone for wireless interactive communication while operating a motor vehicle.
(1) A driver of a motor vehicle may use a handheld wireless telephone for wireless interactive communication in emergencies.
(2) A person performing his or her official duties as a certified law enforcement officer, firefighter, ambulance driver, or emergency medical technician is exempt from the requirements of this section.
§ 27-51-1505. Preemption.
This subchapter supersedes and preempts all county or municipal ordinances regarding the use of a handheld wireless telephone for wireless interactive communication while operating a motor vehicle.
§ 27-51-1506. Penalties.
A person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to or has been found guilty of violating this section commits a violation.
HISTORY: Acts 2009, No. 181, § 1.