Texting and driving ban fails in Senate for the 9th year in a row

We all know that texting and driving is not a safe thing to do. Nearly every state has a law banning it, but not Arizona and it's going to stay that way after a bill failed for the ninth year in a row.

Arizona and Montana are now the only states in the country with no ban on texting while driving.

Senator Steve Farley of Tucson has been trying since 2007 to pass a bill that would ban distracted driving and it looked like this might be the year it happened, but that bill failed again Monday and he says it's all due to politics.

Farley, the bill's sponsor, says he's disappointed in the 11 to 17 vote.

"Unfortunately, it went down on party lines and I really don't think this is a partisan issue," he said.  "And so it really disappoints me that folks in the Senate decided it's a red-blue thing."

Senate President Andy Biggs argues a ban specifically on texting and driving is not needed since Department of Public Safety officers are already out looking for drivers who are distracted and can be cited for speeding or tailgating if they aren't paying attention behind the wheel.

But Farley says it sends the message that it's okay to do and vows to keep fighting until a texting and driving bill is passed.

"It's really disappointing that lives will potentially be at risk because of things unrelated to the bill itself.  Politics. That's what it comes down to," said Farley.  "I cannot give up because I know lives are at stake."

Farley says polls sohw most people support a ban on texting while driving and he's urging Arizonans who feel that way to contact their state senators and urge them to pass a bill banning texting while driving.

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