New Law Bans Teens From Texting While Driving

A new piece of Arizona legislation is officially in effect as of July 1. Senate Bill 1080 states that all teen drivers may not use cellphones while driving unless it is a specific emergency situation.

Teen drivers are those who are within 15 years and 6 months, the legal age to obtain a driver’s permit, through 17 years old.

Those who are 18 years and older are considered adults and no longer minors. The law only applies to minors, according to 12 News.

The one exception to the law is those who are within their first six months of driving after obtaining their license must also remain hands-free of their cellphone.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill in April 2017 and reminded Arizonans that teens being allowed to drive is a privilege, one that needs to be taken seriously and responsibly.

In obvious emergency situations the use of a cellphone while driving is allowed, but only when it’s deemed unsafe to stop or pull over the vehicle.

Those who violate the law are subject to fines and the possibility of having to wait an extended period of time before being allowed to test and receive their driver’s license.

The law was signed in the effort to teach minors that driving should be taken seriously, and that serious injury can result from the person behind the wheel being distracted by unnecessary factors such as texting or being occupied by their phone.

Currently, there are 16 states that have hand-held bans for all drivers. California and New York being two of those states which prohibit any cellphone use while driving.

Before this law, Pima County and Coconino County were the only two counties to pass a hands-free law. Phoenix and Tucson also passed laws stating drivers must be hands-free.

Everyday in the US 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in accidents all caused by a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is the first piece of legislation to cover Arizona as a whole.