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Arizona Legislature Considers Bans on Distracted Driving

The Arizona Senate and House of Representatives are considering several bills this session aimed at curtailing distracted driving in the State. The purpose of these bills is to increase safety on the roadways. Texting while driving is illegal in Phoenix; Tucson is considering a similar law. These laws, if passed, would apply statewide.

  • House Bill 2311 and Senate Bill 1056 would make it illegal for any driver with a class G license to use a cell phone while driving. Only persons under 18 years old and in their first six months of having a driver’s license have class G licenses.
  • House Bill 2321 would make it illegal to write, send, or read text messages while driving.
  • House Bill 2312 would make it illegal to drive while distracted in any manner.

If passed, violations of any of these laws would result in a civil traffic citation.

Distracting driving is often the cause of traffic accidents. Drivers who are distracted by text messages and conversations on their cell phones are more likely to have accidents than drivers who are not distracted.

Statewide laws against distracted driving would make it easier for drivers to know what law applies. Currently, it is only illegal to text while driving in Phoenix, but not in the surrounding cities. It would be easy for a person to cross from a neighboring city into Phoenix and not realize that the texting that was legal only minutes prior had become illegal if the driver did not know the location of the city boundary line.

House Bill 2321 brings up a potential gray area. If the law as written only applies to text messages, a driver who is receives a citation might have an argument that he/she did not violate the law if he/she was using his/her cell phone to dial a number, look up directions, or check email when he/she received the citation.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, please contact the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at the personal injury law firm Oracle Law Group today.

Photo credit: Ryan Harvey from Flickr