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A push on Capitol Hill to lower the age requirement for hunting big game in Utah has gained momentum.

House Bill 67 received praise from lawmakers who say hunting is a much better activity for youth to participate in than video games or watching television.

But minors currently can’t hunt big game like deer until they are 14 years old.

Utah is one of the only states in the West where you must be older the 12 to hunt big game, says Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, the bill’s sponsor.

Cracking down on teen drivers

A bill recommended by a House legislative committee this week would prohibit people under the age of 18 from operating cellular phones while they drive.

Infractions would reportedly rack up points with insurance companies and carry fines of $25.

Driving while talking on a cellular phone can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, claims the sponsor of House Bill 217, Rep. Kory Holdaway, a Republican from Taylorsville.

Passage of the legislation would mean the infraction would become a secondary offense meaning teenagers must commit a primary offense and could not be pulled over for only using a cellular phone.

Bad driver bill is dead

A lawmaker who represents eastern Summit County wants people to be able to anonymously report dangerous drivers to the state.

The Senate, however, this week rejected Senate Bill 84, sponsored by state Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, who represents residents in Henefer, Coalville, Oakley and Kamas.

With a vote of 10 to 18 the bill went down.

Christensen wanted people to be able to anonymously report bad drivers to state driver license officials. Current law reportedly requires the state to release names of those who file such complaints.

Don’t eat and drive?

Among a slew of changes to Utah’s traffic laws proposed by Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, is making lawbreakers out of those who commit a road offense while eating, smoking, drinking, operating a cellular phone, attending to a passenger, searching for an item or engaging in personal hygiene behind the wheel.

Senate Bill 17 would mean those drivers could receive an extra citation if pulled over.

And no smoking behind the wheel?

When a child under the age of 5 is inside a vehicle, smoking in the car would be illegal if the Legislature passes Senate Bill 43, sponsored by Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City.

This week the Senate Health and Human Services Committee advanced the legislation to the floor of the Senate for debate.

The secondary infraction would mean drivers must commit a primary offense before they could be pulled over and cited fro smoking in the presence of a child. The maximum fine is $45.

Some shopliftings would become felonies

A bill poised to pass the full Legislature after sailing through the House would allow those who commit mass shoplifting offenses to face felony charges.

House Bill 4 targets organized theft rings, according to its sponsor, Rep. Paul Ray. R-Clearfield.

That type of organized crime occurs at businesses in the Snyderville Basin, said Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds, who supports HB4.

"We see numerous cases where that would be applicable We’ve had a lot of those up here," Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said about suspects deputies have arrested who stole large quantities of clothing from stores at the Tanger Outlet Center. "It has a lot to do with Summit County."

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