1. The operator of a motor vehicle that is part of traffic may not use a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message.

Terms Used In North Dakota Code 39-08-23

  • Individual: means a human being. See North Dakota Code 1-01-49
  • Official: means a municipal judge or a magistrate or other qualified individual appointed by the presiding judge of the judicial district to serve for all or part of the judicial district. See North Dakota Code 39-06.1-01

2.    Under this section:

    a.    “Electronic message” means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. The term includes electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, a command or request to access a worldwide web page, or other data that uses a commonly recognized electronic communications protocol. The term does not include:

(1) Reading, selecting, or entering a telephone number, an extension number, or voice mail retrieval codes and commands into an electronic device for the purpose of initiating or receiving a telephone or cellular phone call or using voice commands to initiate or receive a telephone or cellular phone call;

(2) Inputting, selecting, or reading information on a global positioning system device or other navigation system device;

(3) Using a device capable of performing multiple functions, such as fleet management systems, dispatching devices, phones, citizen band radios, music players, or similar devices, for a purpose that is not otherwise prohibited;

(4) Voice or other data transmitted as a result of making a telephone or cellular phone call;

(5) Data transmitted automatically by a wireless communication device without direct initiation by an individual; or

(6) A    wireless    communications    device    used    in    a    voice-activated, voice-operated, or any other hands-free manner.

b.    “Traffic” means operation of a motor vehicle while in motion or for the purposes of travel on any street or highway and includes a temporary stop or halt of motion, such as at an official traffic-control signal or sign. The term does not include a motor vehicle that is lawfully parked.

3.    This section does not apply if a wireless communications device is used for obtaining emergency assistance to report a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious traffic hazard or to prevent a crime about to be committed, in the reasonable belief that an individual’s life or safety is in immediate danger, or in an authorized emergency vehicle while in the performance of official duties.