Is it Illegal to Text While Driving in Arizona?
There's so much going on around you that it's important to limit distractions as you follow the laws of the road. Inarguably, cell phones are a distraction. But using cell phones while driving is still murky legal territory in Arizona.
Teens and TextingAs it currently stands, it is not illegal to text and drive in Arizona. Well, for most of us. Recently the Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill banning texting and driving for drivers 18 and younger within the first six months of having their license and during the entire time they have a learner's permit.
The idea of the law is to help enforce good driving habits in younger drivers as soon as they start driving. Much like being told to put on a seat belt when you get in a car, learning it as soon as you start driving will make it second nature, and the hope is to reduce the amount of texting and driving on the road, starting with our new drivers.But what does that mean for the rest of us? The bill met some opposition; almost enough to keep if from passing, because some thought it didn't go far enough and others thought it could lead to even more bans extending to everyone.
Comparing Arizona to Other States
Arizona currently has some of the least-strict legislation regarding cell phone usage by drivers compared to the rest of the country. Joining Arizona in not banning texting and driving are only Montana and Texas, and even Texas is banning texting and driving come September. The next closest is Missouri, which only bans drivers 21 and younger from texting.Many other states go beyond just texting and driving. Many have disallowed any handheld device use, requiring Bluetooth systems or other wireless methods.
Arizona is one of 21 states to ban cellphone use for school bus drivers.And just because there is not a firm law in place stating that texting and driving is against the law, that doesn't mean that it's a safe thing to do. Traveling at a high rate of speed, your car can cover the distance of a football field in a matter of seconds, or just long enough to check your phone and read a text.
Some Arizona cities aren't fond of texting and driving either, as you can be fined for texting and driving in Phoenix and Tucson. A standard fine for the infraction is $100, but if it's the cause of an accident that number climbs to $250.