Friday, May 20, 2016

Come Mid-June, Pima County Will Fine You for Texting and Driving

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

The Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a "no texting while driving" ordinance this week.

Really, it's a rule that should have been obvious even before an ordinance passed. Keeping your eyes on the road and off Facebook is a great idea—it usually makes you avoid crashing into another car or running over a pedestrian or biker.

The so-called Use of Handheld Electronic Devices While Operating a Motor Vehicle ordinance will come into effect on June 16, the county says.

According to a Pima County press release, the ordinance states, "A person may not, while driving a motor vehicle on a highway, manually manipulate a handheld electronic device for any purpose other than to initiate, receive, or engage in voice communication."

Because I guess some drivers find it extremely difficult to not text and drive, there will be a 30-day grace period starting on June 16, where drivers will only receive a written warning if caught texting. After the grace period, texting and driving will be considered a civil traffic offense.

State  Sen. Steve Farley, who since 2007 has continuously tried to pass bills in the state Legislature prohibiting texting and driving, testified at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday in support of the ordinance.

"...When the law goes into effect, the roads will be safer for all of us Southern Arizonans," he wrote on his Facebook page later that day. "Next year, with Sen. [Andy] Biggs no longer in the Legislature, we will get this done statewide after more than a decade of hard work."

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