REFERENCE TITLE: text messaging while driving; prohibition
State of Arizona
House of Representatives
First Regular Session
Representatives Farley, Chabin: Quelland, Waters
amending title 28, chapter 3, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding article 21; relating to text messaging while driving.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Title 28, chapter 3, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding article 21, to read:
ARTICLE 21. TEXT MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING
In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. "Cellular telephone" means an analog or digital wireless telephone authorized by the federal communications commission to operate in the frequency bandwidth reserved for cellular radiophones.
2. "Personal digital assistant" means a wireless electronic communication device that provides for data communication other than by voice.
28-1192. Text messaging while driving; prohibition; exceptions
A. A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on a highway while using a cellular telephone or a personal digital assistant to send or receive a written message while the motor vehicle is in motion.
B. This section does not apply to any of the following:
1. Law enforcement and safety personnel while in performance of official duties.
2. Drivers of authorized emergency vehicles while in performance of official duties.
3. Holders of commercial driver licenses while driving within the scope of their employment.
4. Public transit personnel while driving within the scope of their employment.
5. A person who is reporting criminal, reckless or negligent behavior.
6. A person who believes the person is in physical danger if the person is the only adult in the motor vehicle.
7. The use of a cellular telephone or a personal digital assistant for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation:
(a) An emergency response operator.
(b) A hospital, physician's office or health clinic.
(c) A provider of ambulance services.
(d) A provider of firefighting services.
(e) A law enforcement agency.
28-1193. Nonmoving violation; civil penalties; accident reports
A. A violation of this article is a nonmoving civil traffic violation.
B. If a person violates this article and the person is not involved in a motor vehicle accident, the person is subject to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars.
C. If a person violates this article and the person is involved in a motor vehicle accident, the person is subject to a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars.
D. If a person is cited for violating this article, the person is involved in a motor vehicle accident and a written accident report is required pursuant to article 4 of this chapter, the law enforcement officer investigating the accident shall indicate on the written accident form the person's use of a cellular telephone or a personal digital assistant to send or receive a written message at the time of the accident.
Sec. 2. Warning period
For the purpose of informing and educating persons who operate motor vehicles, beginning on January 1, 2010 through January 31, 2010, any law enforcement officer authorized to issue traffic complaints may stop motor vehicles and issue verbal warnings to persons who would be violating section 28-1192, Arizona Revised Statutes, as added by this act, if it was effective on the day the warning is issued.
Sec. 3. Effective date
Title 28, chapter 3, article 21, Arizona Revised Statutes, as added by this act, is effective from and after January 31, 2010.