Tickets for Texting – Handheld Cellphones Banned in Arizona
Lawmakers recently passed a statewide ban of handheld cellphones by motorists, and now HB 2318 is up to Governor Doug Ducey to sign. Lawmakers decided against approving a different version, which would only allow police to pull over motorists for a different reason before citing them for use of a cellphone while driving. They did approve this one, which gives police the ability to stop motorists solely because they see them texting or calling while driving, or using a cellphone in any other way without a hands-free device.
On top of this bill, they also passed a separate measure to outlaw distracted driving, which could include things like applying makeup while driving, taking hands off the steering wheel to eat, reading, or taking part in other activities that take attention off the road. However, the distracted driving bill, SB 1141, would be a secondary offense, meaning that officers would only be allowed to pull the driver over for other reasons first.
The state law banning handheld devices will take effect in 2022 and could result in fines from $75 and up depending on how many violations the driver has.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has been recording statistics of drivers who get into crashes because of hand-held devices and distracted driving. Here is what the reports show for 2017:
- There were a total of 199 crashes involving drivers using hands-free devices in 2017: one fatal crash and 67 crashes with injuries. This is compared to 454 crashes involving drivers talking on a handheld device, resulting in three fatal crashes and 148 crashes with injuries.
- Drivers using devices for other activities were involved in 1,416 crashes, three of which were fatal and 475 that resulted in injuries.
- Drivers manually operating a device (such as texting or punching in a phone number) were involved in 848 crashes, one of which was fatal and 271 of which caused injuries.
- Drivers involved in other distracting activities, including eating and drinking, were involved in 3,109 crashes, eight of which were fatal and 1,002 of which caused injuries.
The statistics show that handheld devices result in more than double the amount of accidents caused by hands-free devices. The crashes caused fatalities, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, concussions, brain injuries, whiplash injuries, and more.
Victims of crashes are often left with extremely high medical bills, and they wonder if the crash could have been avoided if the other person wasn’t distracted by a cellphone, food, or drink. The team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., works to gather the facts in these accidents and negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. These settlements can help pay medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and other expenses the victims face. For a free consultation, call (602) 267-1280 today.