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Arizona Legislator Focused on Banning Texting While Driving in 2013

Lawmakers in Arizona are refocusing their efforts to pass legislation banning texting while driving.
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    January 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In recent years, Arizona's legislature has been quick to address the dangers posed by impaired driving. Unfortunately, a similar widespread desire to prohibit distracted driving has not been seen. While Arizona currently has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the nation, including mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices after a single DUI conviction, there are still scant laws on the books regarding cellphone usage while behind the wheel.

One state senator from Tucson is determined to change that disparity in 2013, after years of pushing for stronger distracted driving laws in the state. In January 2007, the senator first introduced legislation in Arizona to prohibit texting while behind the wheel. Arizona has yet to adopt such legislation, however. Meanwhile, states across the country have adopted laws targeting certain types of distracted driving, including texting and talking on handheld devices.

The surge in distracted driving laws, in large part, has been due to the number of people killed or seriously injured by distracted driving accidents each year in the United States. In 2010 alone, 3,092 people died in such motor vehicle accidents. In addition, approximately 416,000 people sustained personal injuries due to a distracted driver accident that year.

The focus in Arizona on enacting legislation to ban texting while driving specifically addresses the severe danger posed by this behavior. According to a study conducted by Virginia Tech, people who send text messages while behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident than their non-texting counterparts.

In addition to focusing on texting bans, another state senator is planning to introduce legislation in the upcoming session to prohibit cellphone usage -- both handheld and hands-free -- for all drivers under the age of 18, often referred to as novice drivers. A similar bill was passed in the state senate last year, but failed to gain traction in the house.

Distracted driving accidents in Arizona

Laws governing distracted driving are different in every state. Currently, the only law regarding distracted driving in Arizona relates to school bus drivers. Arizona law prohibits school bus drivers from using cellphones of any kind, including both handheld and hands-free technology.

Many other states have enacted laws prohibiting texting while driving, using handheld cellphones and cellphone usage by novice drivers.

Despite the lack of legislation in Arizona prohibiting distracted driving, those who have been injured in distracted driving accidents have rights to recover following the crash. If you have been injured in such an accident, a skilled Arizona personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected and just compensation is received.

Article provided by Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C.
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