Northern Arizona county restricts cellphone use while driving

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - If you’re headed up to Flagstaff and driving through Coconino County, you’ll want to be sure to have your cellphone stowed away.

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has approved an ordinance to curb distracted driving within the county.

According to a news release, members of the public who addressed the board before Tuesday’s decision urged passage of the ordinance to increase public safety.

The board reportedly held off on passing its own ordinance, hoping that Arizona lawmakers would enact a statewide law placing restrictions on the use of cellphones and other devices while driving.

The ordinance, which allows the use of hands-free devices, goes into effect on May 22. The ordinance states that “texting and typing are banned while operating a motor vehicle.”

There are exceptions to the ban which include using a hands-free mobile device, making a call to report an emergency, use by authorized law enforcement while performing official duties, a person who is driving a motor vehicle on private property and a driver who has pulled off the traveled portion of the road in a safe and legal location.

The ordinance allows law enforcement officers to issue a verbal warning to drivers violating the ordinance for six months after being adopted.

After that, law enforcement officers have discretion on whether or not to issue a citation.

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