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Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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Everything You Need to Know About Arizona’s New Texting Ban

Arizona is not the first state to jump on the no texting and driving ban, and it certainly won’t be the last. The new ban on hand-held cell phones while driving was passed on April 22, 2019. The new law prohibits driving while holding a smartphone or other wireless device with any part of a person’s body, while writing, sending, or reading any text-based communication unless it is hands-free or voice-activated. With 25% of fatal car crashes being due to distracted driving, this law is an attempt to take those distractions out of the hands of Arizona drivers. The number one distraction by far in each of these cases is the use of a smartphone.

Contesting Tickets for Distracted Driving

Veteran personal injury litigation attorneys have seen a significant increase in car accidents due to motorists becoming distracted by their cell phones. These and other attorneys alike are dedicated to stopping distracted, and the new law will give police officers the ability to pull over motorists found to be using a smartphone while driving, beginning January 1, 2021. You might be fortunate enough to receive a warning, however, full blown citations will now be possible. The best lawyers in the state agree that such citations will be difficult to dispute.

Fighting a ticket for distracted driving with use of a cellphone won’t be like fighting speeding 12 miles over the limit. The new law has made it clear that if a smartphone or wireless device is on your body, it’s a violation. The law even breaks down what kind of devices are prohibited, including cellular telephones, portable telephones, text-messaging devices, personal digital assistant devices, stand-alone computers, GPS, or any other wireless device that is used to send and receive communication. Smart watches are also prohibited unless used on the voice-activated function only. Arizona’s new ban on texting and driving leaves no wiggle room for motorists.

Current Law, and the Future of the Bill

There are few states left that don’t have any restrictions on driving, otherwise majority of states have some restrictions, just not full-out bans. In Arizona, the new ban is considered an emergency measure, which means police officers can now officially dole out warnings. However, substantial citations will not be effective until 2021, since it will take some time to educate the public on this new law.

It is expected that the public should be quick to receive the message, however, and hopefully the new ban puts a significant hold on distracted driving. Several reports estimate that distracted driving is about six times more dangerous than driving under the influence. This further adds to the urgency of the need for such measures. Lawmakers are already looking to the future for further deterrent measures. Currently, officers cannot confiscate a person’s handheld device, though if the public does not practice safer driving now, such laws could be considered down that road. For now, all Arizona drivers are encouraged to understand their rights and limitations, and practice safe, undistracted driving habits while on the road.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.