PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Arizona is one step closer to becoming the next state to ban the use of a cell phone behind the wheel. The bill is now in the hands of Governor Doug Ducey. Here's a breakdown of the bill, and what it means for you.
House Bill 2318 is one step away from becoming law. What this bill does is not only ban texting while driving, it bans the use of any type of electronic handheld device while driving.
"What that is saying is you can't hold it, you can't have it in your hand or you can't have it leaning against a part of your body," said personal injury attorney Marc Lamber. "So even if you're not using it, the fact that you have it in your hand alone would be a violation."
Even if your phone is on a dock or on a handsfree device, you still can't use it.
"You can't be manually texting or engaged in text-based communication," said Lamber. "So sending an email, sending a text, [or] doing a search online because if you're doing that, you're not focused on the roadway."
There are some things you can still do. A driver can use their phone while parked or at a red light. Drivers can also use it to report illegal activity or call for help. If using Bluetooth, you are allowed to make calls or use voice text.
"If the phone isn't on your hand and it's not on your body and you're using it just for purposes, just for activating or deactivating your GPS then to me, that's permissible," said Lamber.
People we spoke to are hoping the bill becomes law.
"They probably won't stop doing it, but we can hope it provides some type of scare tactic if you will," __ said.
"I think it's a good thing," __ said. "People drive dangerously here anyway, so I think eliminating anything that can make it worse is a good thing."
If the bill becomes law, it will take effect immediately. But fines will be delayed until January of 2021. There's no word on when or if Governor Doug Ducey will sign the bill, but he said he supports this type of legislation.
Marc Lamber - LamberGoodnow