Tempe adopts new law against texting and driving

Posted at 12:01 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 15:01:24-04

The Tempe City Council adopted a new ordinance that makes it one of the strictest against distracted driving in the state. 

During a Sept. 24 City Council meeting, the council voted 4-3 to adopt a new ordinance that can fine drivers who use electronic devices while driving.

The new ordinance will go into affect in 30 days.

According to section 19, article 55 Tempe drivers can still talk on the phone and text, however, the ordinance allows police to fine drivers who are seen to be distracted like swerving or driving sporadically. 

Although other cities like Phoenix and Tucson have specific texting laws, police have difficulty proving a driver was texting. Tempe's ordinance makes it easier for police to fine any driver that is distracted due to the use of an electronic device. 

Arizona is in the minority nationwide, where 46 states have banned texting and driving altogether and 14 have banned talking on the phone while driving. 

The penalty for breaking this new ordinance is $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense and $500 for any additional offenses within a 24-month period. The drivers will also be guilty of a class one misdemeanor.