Filming while rubbernecking is a crime in Utah

Aug 5, 2019, 4:19 PM | Updated: Aug 6, 2019, 2:01 pm
UTA bus the subject of rubbernecking and filming on US 89.

SALT LAKE CITY — Looking at an accident on the roadway as you pass by is called rubbernecking.

Filming such an accident on your phone as you drive by is called a crime.

“It’s worse than rubbernecking,” says Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Nick Street. “We need [drivers] to be paying 100% attention to the first responders on the scene and the roadway that they’re driving past.”

A Utah Transit Authority bus caught fire on US 89 at 3000 North in Layton early Monday morning. Southbound traffic was completely stopped for almost 30 minutes.

Drivers know that kind of wait can be frustrating. And as a driver, you know that the tendency exists to look at a crash as you pass it.  But Street says that videotaping an accident as you drive by is selfish.

“You’re being selfish, thinking you’re going to get some viral video for the internet and putting everybody at risk,” says Street.

Eventually, police were able to get a lane of southbound traffic open at the scene of the crash. Street says that’s when the filmmaking started.

“They slow down, turn on their cell phones. And then while they’re driving, film it,” Street said.

Police stopped the car, and both of the people inside were ticketed with what’s called a $100 enhanceable fine, meaning, the amount of the fine can change depending on the situation.

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Filming while rubbernecking is a crime in Utah