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Time running out for Arizona legislature to pass texting-and-driving ban

Posted at 7:58 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 10:44:47-04

PHOENIX — Time is almost up for the 2019 legislative session, so could the next week be the last chance for the distracted driving bill?

What started back in January as a Senate bill migrated through a series of maneuvers over to the House side. HB 2318 stands as the best chance to get a statewide texting-and-driving ban passed in the state of Arizona.

The bill made a lot of progress this week, leaving committees and caucuses with the only remaining step a full floor House vote. But there are some questions as to whether or not that's going to happen next week.

Michelle Donati-Grayman with AAA Arizona told ABC15 she wants to see a push from constituents speaking to their elected representatives to make sure the legislature stays on top of the bill.

"Some lawmakers think that it goes too far because it would be a primary offense or a primary law. But we know through research that primary laws are the only way to go when it comes to this kind of legislation," Donati-Grayman said. Primary offenses give law enforcement the authority to stop people for just that violation and are tougher than secondary offenses, which can only result in charges if there is another violation.

RELATED: Deadly crashes renewing push for texting-and-driving ban in Arizona

Governor Ducey said he supports a statewide texting-and-driving ban.

"My call to the legislature [is]: get to work. Fix whatever they need to fix in these bills and send it to my desk," Ducey said Wednesday.

"There's never been a better time for us to take action and make this a reality in Arizona. We've lost far too many lives as a result of distracted driving. We know that laws reflect the values of a society and society does not deem distracted driving as acceptable," added Donati-Grayman.

We're not going to see any more activity on this bill this week. It'll pick up starting next week, possibly on Monday.

Will we see that floor vote in the House to finally put it up for a vote to see if we get a texting and driving bill in Arizona? There are a lot of organizations and non-profits waiting anxiously. They would like to see it happen, but it could come down to your state representative. You can get a hold of them.

If you'd like to share your opinion on the distracted driving bill with your state representative, go here. There you'll be directed to their office email and phone numbers.