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Lawmakers reject texting while driving ban

Elizabeth Medora ~ Staff~ 3/2/2015

NORTH VALLEY – Arizona lawmakers have once again rejected a potential law banning texting while driving. SB1102 would have levied fines on drivers caught texting while driving, with increased penalties for texting drivers involved in car accidents.

Opponents of SB1102 called it unnecessary, citing distracted-driving laws that already exist in Arizona; texting falls under the “distracted” heading as a ticketable offense. However, the majority of the country has both distracted-driving laws and specific bans on texting. SB1102 sponsor Steve Farley has compared texting and driving to drinking and driving, noting how much legislation DUIs have garnered.

While the ban may not have passed, drivers could still be risking a fine if they choose to text and drive. The Department of Public Safety can and does pull over drivers who are seen texting at the wheel.

A texting while driving ban could see new life next year. Farley has sponsored a bill banning texting while driving for nine consecutive legislative sessions, so he may sponsor another ban in the next session.

To see potential legislation being considered by the Arizona State Legislature, visit www.azleg.gov/Bills.asp.