Arizona Distracted Driving Ban
Governor Ducey signed House Bill 2318, a statewide ban on texting and driving. Arizona’s hands-free and distracted driving ban prohibits:
- Holding or supporting a wireless device while driving
- Reading or writing any text-based communication while driving
- Watching, recording, or broadcasting video while driving.
There are three exemptions to Arizona’s distracted driving ban: 1) hands-free voice to text, 2) stopped at a traffic light and 3) reporting an emergency. The ban takes effect immediately, but penalties do not begin until January 1, 2021. Law enforcement will now begin issuing warnings to drivers caught violating the hands-free ban. After January 1, 2021, drivers can be fined up to $150 for the first offense and up to $250 for second and subsequent offenses. If a driver violates the ban and causes a crash resulting in serious injury or death, it is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $2,500 fine.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 3,166 people were killed by distracted driving in 2017. NHTSA’s tips for safe driving include pulling over or parking if you need to send or receive a text; designating a passenger as the “texter” to handle all messages while you are driving and putting your phone where you can’t reach it (ex. trunk). Most smartphones have apps or settings to disable texting while driving. Arizona’s cellphone ban aims to enhance the safety of everyone in Arizona and save lives. Consider driving phone-free and encourage your friends and family not to drive distracted.