Salt River Police officer's death reignites debate over distracted driving

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Tuesday night's crash that led to the death of a Salt River Police officer is once again bringing the debate over texting and driving to the forefront.

Arizona is one of two states that doesn't have a statewide ban, but it's not for lack of trying.

"We already think is a problem," said Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director, Col. Frank Milstead. "This has to be something socially unacceptable, and I don't think we are there yet."

Tuesday night's incident is not the first time an officer was killed under similar circumstances. In 2013, Officer Tim Huffman was writing a report at an accident scene on the I-8, when his patrol vehicle was struck by a semi. Officer Huffman was killed, and 36-year-old Jorge Espinoza was convicted of negligent homicide, after prosecutors say he was distracted by his cell phone.

For DPS, the issue draws a comparison.

"This is no different to me than DUI," said Milstead. "You can make DUI laws as strict as they want, and we still arrest 22,000, 23,000 people for DUI."

A year after signing a law to ban teens from texting and driving, Governor Doug Ducey says he's ready for another bill.