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Senate Bill No. 61

Public Act No. 12-67

AN ACT EXEMPTING AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS USING HAND-HELD RADIOS FROM THE PROHIBITION ON USING HAND-HELD MOBILE TELEPHONES AND MOBILE ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE DRIVING.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 14-296aa of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(b) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subsections (c) and (d) of this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a highway, as defined in section 14-1, while using a hand-held mobile telephone to engage in a call or while using a mobile electronic device while such vehicle is in motion. An operator of a motor vehicle who types, sends or reads a text message with a hand-held mobile telephone or mobile electronic device while such vehicle is in motion shall be in violation of this section, except that if such operator is driving a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, such operator shall be charged with a violation of subsection (e) of this section.

(2) An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a hand-held mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, his or her ear while such vehicle is in motion is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by evidence tending to show that the operator was not engaged in a call.

(3) The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a hand-held mobile telephone or a mobile electronic device, unless otherwise provided by law.

(4) Subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply to: (A) The use of a hand-held mobile telephone for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: An emergency response operator; a hospital, physician's office or health clinic; an ambulance company; a fire department; or a police department, or (B) any of the following persons while in the performance of their official duties and within the scope of their employment: A peace officer, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 53a-3, a firefighter or an operator of an ambulance or authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, or a member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, while operating a military vehicle, or (C) the use of a hand-held radio by a person with an amateur radio station license issued by the Federal Communications Commission, or (D) the use of a hands-free mobile telephone.