Arizona Aims to Ban Teens from Texting and Driving
February 8, 2017
An Arizona Senate committee has approved a bill that would ban teens from using electronic devices while driving during the first six months after acquiring a driver’s license.
Senate Bill 1080 is Arizona’s latest attempt at a small step toward banning texting while driving. The state is currently only one of four states in the U.S. that does not have some piece of legislation restricting cellphone use for all drivers. The other states are Texas, Montana and Missouri.
The Transportation and Technology Committee passed the bill in a 6-1 vote, with the single vote cast against it in protest to the supposed lack of effectiveness the legislation would enact.
Opponents of the bill say it will not do enough to address Arizona’s distracted driving problem and that teens are not the cause of the issue.
Both AAA and AT&T have researched accidents caused by distracted driving and concluded that adults are the main offenders of cellphone use while driving.
For the past 10 years, members of the Senate have tried unsuccessfully to pass bills that would issue a state-wide ban on texting while driving.
These efforts have failed due to lack of support from majority senate leaders. Transportation Chairman Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, stated that a complete ban on texting while driving would not be supported in the Senate due to logistical and philosophical objections from unnamed senators.
Instead, Worsley and other Arizona senators believe that Senate Bill 1080 is a sufficient start to addressing the problem of texting and driving and that the legislation will expand future conversations about the issue.
Teen drivers who violate the proposed law would be issued a $75 fine and receive a 30-day extension to the six-month limit on a teen’s graduated driver’s license. The penalties will increase for any repeat offenses.
However, Jennifer Smith, executive director of StopDistractions.org, argues that Senate Bill 1080 will create a message for teens that texting and driving is acceptable once the six-month restriction expires.
Distracted driving is a large-scale problem that jeopardizes the lives of all motorists and pedestrians sharing Arizona’s roadways.
Accidents caused by drivers distracted by their cellphones are avoidable and unacceptable.The Mesa auto accident attorneys at the Phillips Law Group can help those who have been injured or lost a loved one file a claim that could lead to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free evaluation of your claim to determine if you have legal options.
Call 1-800-706-3000 to speak with one of our attorneys.
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