Governor Doug Ducey has signed legislation that will prohibit Arizona teens from texting or using a cellphone within their first six months of driving.
Senate Bill 1080 applies to teenagers within the first six months of driving after they get their license, or until they reach the age of 18. It also applies to teens driving under a learner’s permit.
It's the first state-wide legislation to ban texting while driving in Arizona. Texting and driving is against the law for drivers of all ages in the city of Yuma, which means that once the bill takes effect, teens could face not only a city citation, but a state violation as well.
Governor Ducey says, “Distracted driving is a growing problem in Arizona and nationally. I generally believe that public awareness and education campaigns are a more effective remedy to prevent accidents and save lives than blanket laws that let politicians feel like they’ve checked the box, and then move on to the next issue. For that reason, I am skeptical of large-scale bans on texting while driving — I just don’t think they work.”
“But this bill is different. The state already regulates a number of things when it comes to early driving by teens. And for good reason. For our youth, these laws can act as a teacher. In fact, I’d be in favor of a law that goes further, banning texting while driving for all minors. Driving is a privilege for our youth, and they are still the responsibility of their parents, financially and otherwise, before the age of 18.”
“If we can use the early years of their driving experience as an opportunity to guide them toward safe and responsible habits, that’s a good thing.”
According to the legislature, Senate Bill 1080 is set to take effect June 30, 2018.