Coconino County Bans Cell Phone Use While Driving

Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 - 11:31am

The Coconino County Board is stepping in where state lawmakers have failed to tread, approving a ban on texting or using cell phones that are not hands-free while driving.

Mike Oxtoby, the county’s Assistant Chief Health officer, says the ordinance is straightforward and centered on safety.

“When someone is dialing a number on a cell phone while driving they are six times at greater risk of a crash, and when you text while driving you’re at 23 times greater risk,” Oxtoby said.

He says the ordinance will take effect May 22, but there will be a six-month period where officers can hand out warnings and educational material instead of a ticket.

The ban does not apply to doctors or hospitals or to emergency 911 calls.

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