Excited to hit the road in Utah?
Not so fast!
To be a safe driver, and to avoid those annoying tickets, you need to KNOW and OBEY all the traffic laws in Utah.
This is why, here, we’re talking about 8 Utah traffic laws that every driver should know about.
We include the laws on:
- Cell phone use
- Seat belt
- Car seat
- Speed limits
- Car crashes
Let’s jump straight to it!
Utah Cell Phone Law
Cell phones or electronic devices are a leading cause of crashes and deaths on the road.
This is because cell phones distract drivers.
It’s no surprise then that the State of Utah prohibited drivers from using a ‘handheld wireless communication device’ (HWC) while operating a motor vehicle.
In other words, you can’t read, write, or send messages, as well as watch a video, access the internet, take photos, or enter data into the phone.
However, if you’re above 18 years old, you can use your phone to do voice commands or connect to a call. If hands-free mode is activated, you can use the GPS function too.
If you’re 18 and below, you can only use an HWC for reporting emergencies, safety hazards, and crimes.
No voice command or hands-free mode for those below 18 years old.
Now, if you violate the cell phone law, you’re guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and given a fine of up to $100.
It will turn to a Class B misdemeanor if your use of an HWC device results in injuries or if you’ve already violated this law before.
Here’s another thing you should know.
The Utah cell phone law is primary enforcement.
A police officer can pull you over if they see you using your cell phone. No other violations are necessary for them to ask you to stop.
Utah Seat Belt Laws
Did you know that everyone in the vehicle is required to wear a seat belt in Utah?
It’s not just the driver, but ALL passengers — whether they’re sitting in front or at the back.
So it doesn’t matter how slow you’re moving, or if your destination is just nearby — you should always put on your seat belt PROPERLY.
Remember, seat belts save lives.
It significantly reduces the risk of getting severe injuries or even killed during a car crash.
Plus, the Utah seat belt law uses primary enforcement.
So you’ll be stopped and given a $45 fine penalty.
You may be able to waive the fine if you attend an online safety belt safety course.
Also, an officer might only give you a warning at first, but the second and subsequent violations will definitely get you a fine.
Utah Car Seat Laws
In Utah, any child below 8 years old needs to be in the proper child safety restraint system.
The State of Utah specifies what a proper car seat is.
Check the details below:
- Children 2 years old and below and weighing at most 30 pounds have to be in a rear-facing car seat installed at the back.
- Children 4 years old and below and weighing at most 40 pounds have to be in a forward-facing car seat placed at the back.
- Children at least 4 years old and weighing at least 40 pounds need to be in a booster seat.
- Children 8-12 years old with a height of 57 inches can start using a seat belt. However, it’s wise to make sure that the seat belt can properly fit them before removing the booster seat.
Like the seat belt law, violators will be asked to pull over and given a $45 citation if a child is unrestrained.
Utah Speed Limit
Another part of safe driving is following speed limits.
Remember, speed limits are there to ensure that you drive at a safe and reasonable speed.
On some roads, there are speed limits posted. Always obey it.
But in the absence of these signs, the following limits are in place:
|Maximum Speed Limit:
|20 miles per hour
|25 miles per hour
|Business or residential areas
|55 miles per hour
|65-80 miles per hour
|Rural interstate highways, transition zones (indicated by pavement markings and road signs)
As for the penalties, it will depend on how many miles you went over the speed limit.
Check out the penalty table below:
|Miles per hour over the limit:
|31 or more
On top of the fine, you will also get 35-75 points on your Utah driving record.
If speeding results in injuries or death, you may be charged with reckless driving or vehicular homicide.
Utah Parking Laws
When parking in Utah, always remember that your vehicle should never be a hazard.
That’s the general rule of thumb.
To be more specific, the Utah parking law states that you are not allowed to park in these areas:
- On a sidewalk.
- In front of a public or private driveway.
- In an intersection.
- On a crosswalk.
- Within 20 feet of a crosswalk.
- Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
- Within 30 feet of any flashing beacon, stop sign, yield sign, or traffic control signal.
- In an area for pedestrian use or within 30 feet of the edges of that area.
- On any railroad track or within 50 feet of the nearest railroad crossing.
- Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to a fire station.
- Within 75 feet of a fire station driveway entrance from the opposite side of the road.
- Alongside or opposite any street evacuation or obstruction.
- On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street.
- On any bridge, elevated highway structure, or highway tunnel.
- In areas where stopping is prohibited.
- On the shoulder of any interstate highway.
- On red-painted curbs or red zones.
- In a parking spot designated for disabled people, unless you fit the description.
Parking in no-parking areas will get you a citation which results in a fine.
Fines may vary, with parking at a disabled parking slot as the biggest one.
Utah Stopping Laws
In Utah, you are required to make a complete stop in these areas:
- Areas with a red flashing light or a steady red light.
- On stop signs.
- Railroad crossing with flashing signals, gates, and stop signs. You have to stop more than 15 feet from the nearest rail.
- At the scene of any crash where you are involved as a driver.
- Coming on a street or highway from a building, alley, private driveway, or road.
There are also very specific stopping laws for school buses.
You are required to make a complete stop when a school bus’ red flashing light and stop sign are shown. This applies to vehicles traveling in the same AND opposite direction as the school bus.
However, if you are traveling in the opposite direction, you don’t need to stop if:
- The lanes are separated by a median.
- The highway is divided and has four or more lanes.
What happens if you break this law?
Well, if you pass a school bus when its lights are on, you may be fined from $100 to $500.
Your insurance rates may also increase because of this conviction.
Utah Car Crash Laws
When you’re involved in a car crash, you are required to stop right away.
What’s more, you have to remain at the scene of the crash.
Other than that, you are also required to help those who are affected by the crash, especially while waiting for medical help.
However, avoid moving an injured person unless it’s necessary for their safety.
It’s a must that you give your information to the police or others involved in the scene. Give your name, address, vehicle registration number, and even insurance information.
What if there is damage done to the property?
Likewise, you shouldn’t leave the area, but you can move your vehicle out of the travel lanes so you don’t cause traffic and any hazard to other vehicles on the road.
Now, a hit-and-run results in a license suspension or revocation for up to one year.
Plus, you may be sentenced to jail and required to pay a fine of up to $2,500.
It’s also considered a third-degree felony if you leave the scene of a car crash that caused injury or death to a person.
And those were the 8 Utah traffic laws every driver should know about.
As you can see, all these are in place to make sure everyone is safe on the road.
So you should ALWAYS follow them.
If you do, then you’ll be a much better and safer driver — and you won’t have to face any convictions and fines.