Arizona state legislature passed a law in January 2021 banning the use of handheld devices while behind the wheel of your vehicle. These enhanced distracted driving laws reinforce safety while on the road, not only for you but for those you’re driving alongside. Arizona Department of Public Safety states, “It is illegal in Arizona to talk or text on a cellphone while driving unless the device is in a hands-free mode.” There are three types of distractions when driving with a cell phone in hand: Manual, Visual and Cognitive. Using a cell phone while you are driving inhibits all three of these types.
- Manual distractions involve moving your hands away from the wheel (losing control)
- Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road
- Cognitive distractions involve your mind wandering from the task of driving
Don’t fall into the trap of using your handheld when you can put your phone away until you pull off the roadway – whatever it is can wait. Find out all you need to know about distracted driving laws in Arizona and avoid a fine – or worse consequences.
Texting and Driving Ban
Arizona previously had a law in place prohibiting the use of cell phones but had been vague as to what capacity they could be used, and in what cities. Now in 2021, the Hands Off Law states all usage of cell phones (with minimal exceptions) across the whole state are against the law to use behind the wheel. The texting and driving ban also applies to having GPS in your hand or scrolling through social media. The exceptions include taking advantage of wireless settings. Bluetooth and hands-free technology still make it possible to speak on the phone while your eyes are focused on the road and hands are on the wheel. Earpieces and headphones are also tolerated, as long as they don’t inhibit your ability to hear emergency sirens approaching in traffic. Emergency calls that need to be made while driving are also exempted. Any unnecessary extent that you find yourself using your phone and not paying attention to the road is illegal.
What is the Fine for Violating Distracted Driving Laws?
The first fine for violating the Hands Off law ranges from $75 to $149. The second and/or following offenses will fall between $150 and $250. While a fine may not put points on your driving record, you might expect your insurance to increase. Your risk for causing injury or death while texting and driving greatly increases as well – and the consequences can be much greater than a fine or higher insurance costs.
Don’t fall trap to violating the texting and driving law. Know that texts can wait or rely on a hands-free option to take calls. Hefty fines or license suspensions await depending on the severity of the infraction. Don’t be that driver and put this on your record.