Arizona Texting Ban For All Drivers Closer To Passage

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer
Published: Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 6:50am
Updated: Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 7:21am

Lawmakers are closer than ever to passing a statewide no-texting while driving law aimed at everyone behind the wheel.

Arizona and Montana remain the last two states in the country without a statewide no-texting while driving ban.

It's not for lack of trying. Tucson's State Sen. Steve Farley has tried for several years to pass one.

Last year, Prescott's State Sen. Karen Fann squeaked by a limited ban on teens texting during their first six months of a driver's permit.

Those efforts have chipped away at legislative debates arguing that a ban would be a "nanny state" policy.

That logic fails Mesa's Republican Sen. Bob Worsley who chairs the Senate Committee on Transportation and Technology.

"Sometimes it just seems like our political ideology gets in the way of common sense," Worsley told his colleagues on Tuesday.

Having served in the legislature for the past six years, he said, "We've had a hard time... to see through a different lens, see through a common-sense lens. And, I'm sorry it's taken so long to get here."

With that, the committee unanimously approved the bill and sent it to the full Senate floor.

The original draft of the bill has lost a few teeth, limiting fines for repeat violations to $200, and making it a misdemeanor if someone is injured in text-related crash.

It still faces a road block in the House where opponents could demand further stipulations to pass it.

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