Texting-and-driving bill dies

Senate deadlocks on measure to ban sending messages from road. Arizonans will not be banned from texting while driving, at least this year.

Proposed legislation that would have prohibited typing, reading or sending text messages and e-mails while driving on a state highway died with an 11-11 vote by the Senate on Tuesday. The bill would not have prohibited talking on the phone while driving and would have allowed drivers to type a name or telephone number to make a call.

This is the second year in a row the effort to ban texting while driving has failed despite support from dozens of organizations, including cellphone-company representatives. The Arizona Citizens Defense League opposed the measure.

Legislators who voted against it acknowledged that texting while driving is dangerous, but said they opposed unnecessary government restrictions.

Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, called the legislation a “nanny bill” and “feel-good legislation” that would have banned a practice already covered under current laws against reckless driving.
Supporters said the bill is about saving lives. They said parents would be able to tell children that texting while driving is illegal.

“It’s such a dangerous activity to be texting while you’re driving, that outlawing it would seem to be a given,” said Sen. Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley.

Phoenix banned texting while driving within its city limits in 2007. Phoenix police Officer Luis Samudio said that about nine citations for texting while driving have been issued since the law went into effect.

“It is minimal,” he said.

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If you have recently taken some type of traffic school you know its very dangerous to text or talk while driving. Its been proven over and over. So please practice safe driving.


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