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Arizona Now Banned Texting While Driving: What to Know about the law

by Webdesk


PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey on April 22, joined by members of the Arizona Legislature, law enforcement personnel and advocates of safe driving, signed legislation to prohibit texting while driving in Arizona. The legislation, HB 2318, bans the use of hand-held mobile devices while driving a vehicle.

The new bill goes into effect immediately, but penalties begin in 2021.



X Holding or supporting a wireless device while driving
X Writing or reading any text-based communication while driving
X Watching, recording, or broadcasting video while driving


The following cellphone use is allowed while driving:


a) Swiping a phone screen to make or accept a phone call.
b) Talking on the phone if using an earpiece, headphone device or device worn on a wrist.
c) Using voice-based communication, such as a talk-to-text function.
d) Using a GPS system.
e) Using a handheld cellphone while stopped at a traffic light or stop light.
f) Using a handheld cellphone to call 911.


“Too many lives have been lost because of texting and driving,” said Governor Ducey. “Too many families have needlessly grieved the loss of a loved one due to a preventable tragedy. I called on legislators to provide a solution that will save lives — and I am grateful for their efforts to do just that. This legislation takes important, clear and common sense steps to prevent texting and driving. I thank everyone who worked to get this legislation across the finish line and especially the Townsend family for their courage and advocacy.”


“Today Arizona takes a critical step toward making our roads safer,” said Senator Kate Brophy McGee. “Distracted driving is a public health crisis. With this reform, Arizona is ensuring drivers stay focused on the road — not their phones — helping prevent countless tragedies from happening in the future. Thank you to my colleagues in the Arizona Legislature, both in the House and Senate, for moving this important measure forward. And my thanks to Governor Ducey for making this reform a priority."


“Distracted driving has to stop,” said Toni Townsend, mother of fallen Salt River Police Officer Clayton Townsend. “Although we feel the pain everyday of losing Clayton, we hope that this much-needed reform can save the lives of countless others moving forward. I want to express my gratitude to Governor Ducey and to members of the Arizona Legislature for putting this ban on texting while driving on the books.”


In January of 2019, Salt River Police Officer Clayton Townsend died in the line of duty after being struck by a vehicle driven by a distracted driver. Following Officer Townsend's passing, the Townsend family joined many other families in becoming strong advocates for a ban on texting while driving.


States implementing hands-free laws have experienced 16 percent reductions in fatalities within the first two years. Studies also show that texting while driving increases the likelihood of a crash or near-crash by 23 times.


Click here to read the Press release.


For more information on HB 2318, click HERE