REFERENCE TITLE: cellular telephone use; texting; driving
State of Arizona
First Regular Session
amending title 28, chapter 3, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding article 21; relating to the use of communication devices 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. USE OF COMMUNICATION DEVICES 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. "Engage in a call":
(a) Means talking into or listening on a handheld cellular telephone.
(b) Does not include holding a cellular telephone to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of the cellular telephone.
3. "Handheld cellular telephone" means a cellular telephone that requires the use of at least one hand to engage in a call.
4. "Hands-free device" means an attachment, add-on or addition to a cellular telephone, whether or not permanently installed in a motor vehicle, that when used allows the motor vehicle operator to maintain both hands on the steering wheel.
5. "Immediate proximity" means the distance that permits the user of a cellular telephone to hear telecommunications transmitted over the cellular telephone but that does not require physical contact with the user's ear.
6. "Personal digital assistant" means a wireless electronic communication device that provides for data communication other than by voice.
7. "Use" means, FOR A CELLULAR TELEPHONE:
(a) Holding a cellular telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, the user's ear.
(b) Pressing the buttons on a cellular telephone to use any of the functions of the cellular telephone.
28-1202. Use of cellular telephones while driving; text messaging while driving; prohibition; exceptions
A. A person who operates a motor vehicle on a highway shall not use a cellular telephone to engage in a call while the motor vehicle is in motion unless the cellular telephone is equipped with a hands-free device.
B. It is a rebuttable presumption that an operator of a motor vehicle who holds a cellular telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, the operator's ear while the motor vehicle is in motion is engaging in a call.
C. 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.
D. This section does not apply to any of the following:
1. Law enforcement and safety personnel while in the performance of official duties.
2. Drivers of authorized emergency vehicles while in the 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.
28-1203. 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 fifty 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 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.