A proposal before the Legislature will make silly but dangerous pranks a crime.

If lawmakers pass SB32 they will be creating a new crime on the books for prosecutors to use. Called reckless endangerment, the proposed law is similar to legislation already in place in 27 states.The bill received a unanimous endorsement from Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Creighton Horton, chief of the criminal section at Utah Attorney General's Office, and the bill's sponsor, Sen. Ed Allen, D-Ogden, told lawmakers of a case in southern Utah that demonstarates why the law is needed.

A man placed a rattlesnake on a 2-year-old's neck. The child was bitten and died. But had the child not been bitten, prosecutors would have used a reckless endangerment law to charge the man with the crime, they said.

The bill defines reckless endangerment as conduct that creates substantial risk of death or bodily injury. The offense would be a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.