Dueling bills aim to outlaw texting while driving

Chandler state Sen. J.D. Mesnard, seen here talking to reporters a few weeks ago, has submitted a broader bill aimed at “distracted driving” of all kinds, but his approach has drawn flack from some fellow Republican lawmakers./ Capitol Media Services photo

 

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Ahwatukee Foothills News

The days of texting while driving or even chatting with a phone next to your ear may soon be at an end in Arizona.

And the reason could be the death of a police officer at the hands of a texting motorist.

A bipartisan group of legislators is pushing a plan that would finally ban the practice in Arizona. That effort, if successful, would end Arizona’s distinction of being one of only two states in the country that allows most motorists to type and dial while driving.

Talking would not be totally off limits if SB 1165 becomes law. The only permitted use would be if a phone or tablet were mounted to the dash and operated only on a hands-free basis.

What seems to have breathed new life into the movement was the Jan. 8 death of Clayton Townsend.

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