New Law Concerning Device Use While Driving

Remember when Tucson City Council passed an ordinance banning the use of cell phones while driving in 2017? Still seeing so many on their cell phones? Initially, the ordinance was instituted as a secondary offense, meaning law enforcement would need a reason that is a primary offense in order to issue a ticket. As of February of 2018, using your cellphone while driving is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement can pull you over for just having your device in your hand. Even at a stop light.

Most of us know that this has been the case in Oro Valley for some time now. Tucson is just a little behind in establishing these things sometimes. City Counsel members argue that the state should have had a law in place a long time ago as most of the nation (47 states) already have such a law on their books.

In April, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2318. This bill bans the use of any device while operating a vehicle. This bill replaces city and county ordinances, clarifies the law for easier comprehension, and makes Arizona the 48th state to pass such a law.

This law was effective immediately, as of April 2019, but drivers will not be receiving tickets right away. In fact, Arizonans are getting a huge grace period. Penalties will not incur for this specif offense until January 2021. Until then, drivers will only receive a warning, unless there are other violations, of course.

According to the Governor’s website, this law should reduce fatalities caused by distracted driving by 16%, based on the results of other states with the same type of laws in effect. https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/hb_2318_facts.pdf

I don’t know about you, but since the city ordinance went into affect, I have not noticed a decrease in distracted driving. I also haven’t witness too many offenders being pulled over for using their phones while driving. Hopefully this state-wide law will decrease distracted driving and help make the roads safer for all of us. Check out the Governor’s site for more information on the bill.

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