Pulled Over for Accepting a Request!

Johnnyrock

Well-Known Member
I was in St. Paul off of St. Peter and at a red light and request came in so I accepted it, as soon as I crossed the intersection. A unmarked cop pulled me over and I said texting and driving. I told him I drive Uber and just accepted my next request and did not text anything. He said it is illegal to do anything on a phone except talk while in motion. You need to be pulled over to accepted requests. He actually gave me a ticket. I am fighting that one.
 

fairsailing

Well-Known Member
Wow, I didn't believe it until I actually looked it up. The officer is right, sorry. Accepting a ride offer meets the definition of "electronic message" and is prohibited.

2017 Minnesota Statutes


169.475 USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE.
Subdivision 1.Definition.
For purposes of this section, "electronic message" means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. An electronic message includes, but is not limited to, e-mail, a text message, an instant message, a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, or other data that uses a commonly recognized electronic communications protocol. An electronic message does not include voice or other data transmitted as a result of making a phone call, or data transmitted automatically by a wireless communications device without direct initiation by a person.

Subd. 2.Prohibition on use; penalty.
(a) No person may operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic.

(b) A person who violates paragraph (a) a second or subsequent time must pay a fine of $225, plus the amount specified in the uniform fine schedule established by the Judicial Council.

Subd. 3.Exceptions.
This section does not apply if a wireless communications device is used:

(1) solely in a voice-activated or other hands-free mode;

(2) for making a cellular phone call;

(3) for obtaining emergency assistance to (i) report a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious traffic hazard, or (ii) prevent a crime about to be committed;

(4) in the reasonable belief that a person's life or safety is in immediate danger; or

(5) in an authorized emergency vehicle while in the performance of official duties.

History:
2008 c 350 art 1 s 38; 2015 c 75 art 2 s 22

Copyright © 2017 by the Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
 
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The Tenor

Active Member
I was in St. Paul off of St. Peter and at a red light and request came in so I accepted it, as soon as I crossed the intersection. A unmarked cop pulled me over and I said texting and driving. I told him I drive Uber and just accepted my next request and did not text anything. He said it is illegal to do anything on a phone except talk while in motion. You need to be pulled over to accepted requests. He actually gave me a ticket. I am fighting that one.
So uber is asking us to break the law. Sort of... there is no practical way of excepting a ride. No time to pull over.

Kind of a sick move by the officer. I know her doing his job... but really
 

Johnnyrock

Well-Known Member
I couldn't believe he didn't give me a warning. He even said I like that you use a phone mount. But we are strictly enforcing this.
 

fairsailing

Well-Known Member
Well, if you read the statute it is weird, the $225 fine is only for second and subsequent infractions. It is unclear to me if the "uniform fine schedule established by the Judicial Council" applies to the first offense. I think you have a good chance of beating the fine if there is one, especially if the officer didn't call out other behavior that caused them to pull you over.

Lyft and Uber should really get off their behinds and defend drivers on these, but I am sure they won't.
 
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NHDriver

Well-Known Member
Wow, I didn't believe it until I actually looked it up. The officer is right, sorry. Accepting a ride offer meets the definition of "electronic message" and is prohibited.

2017 Minnesota Statutes


169.475 USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE.
Subdivision 1.Definition.
For purposes of this section, "electronic message" means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. An electronic message includes, but is not limited to, e-mail, a text message, an instant message, a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, or other data that uses a commonly recognized electronic communications protocol. An electronic message does not include voice or other data transmitted as a result of making a phone call, or data transmitted automatically by a wireless communications device without direct initiation by a person.

Subd. 2.Prohibition on use; penalty.
(a) No person may operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic.

(b) A person who violates paragraph (a) a second or subsequent time must pay a fine of $225, plus the amount specified in the uniform fine schedule established by the Judicial Council.

Subd. 3.Exceptions.
This section does not apply if a wireless communications device is used:

(1) solely in a voice-activated or other hands-free mode;

(2) for making a cellular phone call;

(3) for obtaining emergency assistance to (i) report a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious traffic hazard, or (ii) prevent a crime about to be committed;

(4) in the reasonable belief that a person's life or safety is in immediate danger; or

(5) in an authorized emergency vehicle while in the performance of official duties.

History:
2008 c 350 art 1 s 38; 2015 c 75 art 2 s 22

Copyright © 2017 by the Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
So my questions is. Were you at a complete stop when you accepted the request or were you moving. It clearly states. "while in motion". If you were at a complete stop and you have a dash cam, you will beat it.
 

fairsailing

Well-Known Member
So my questions is. Were you at a complete stop when you accepted the request or were you moving. It clearly states. "while in motion". If you were at a complete stop and you have a dash cam, you will beat it.

Nice idea, but unfortunately there is an "or a part of traffic" clause.
 

NHDriver

Well-Known Member
you can dial it to make a call which means you need to tap the screen more than the one time you tap to accept a ride. I would fight it.
 

fairsailing

Well-Known Member
you can dial it to make a call which means you need to tap the screen more than the one time you tap to accept a ride. I would fight it.

Agreed. And don't they actually have to prove that an electronic message was sent? That may not be easy to do, they will have to get Uber to give them data for that specific touch at that specific time. Good luck with that one.

This isn't like a speeding ticket, it is very likely that the officer can only testify that you touched your smartphone at the stop light. That clearly is not a violation of the statute, we are not a hands free state yet, though that bill has been introduced. If the officer testifies that they saw the Uber app on your smartphone, and saw you accept a ride, then they probably won't need Uber, the officers testimony will be enough (but the officer would practically have to be in your car to see that much detail).
 
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NHDriver

Well-Known Member
Agreed. And don't they actually have to prove that an electronic message was sent? That may not be easy to do, they will have to get Uber to give them data for that specific touch at that specific time. Good luck with that one.

This isn't like a speeding ticket, it is very likely that the officer can only testify that you touched your smartphone at the stop light. That clearly is not a violation of the statute, we are not a hands free state yet, though that bill has been introduced.
he can beat it. everyone knows uber drivers get a ping to go get them. hardly the use of device that breaks the rules. just a cop being a dick.
 

Extraholes

Active Member
Did you compose, read, or send an electronic message, no. Plus, the "electronic message" means a self-contained piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices. You sent your acceptance of the ride to the Uber server.
 
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