Cell phone use banned for new teen drivers in Arizona starting July 1

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 28, 2018

Teens with a permit or new graduated drivers license will need to keep their hands on the wheel and off the cell phone.

On July 1, a new law for young drivers goes into effect.

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During the permit phase and in the first six months of the graduated license phase, teens cannot use a cell phone while driving.

No talking. No texting.

Violators can face a fine and an extension of the 6-month restricted driving period according to Michelle Donati from AAA. She said the law comes at a good time.

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"Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, teen driving crashes and consequently injuries and fatalities spike," Donati said.

There are a couple exceptions: a phone can be used at the wheel if it's an emergency and the driver is unable to pull over safely or if the phone is used to give voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions.

The latest data shows more than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver during this same stretch of days in 2016. And distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes.

The City of Surprise is also looking to ban phone use behind the wheel, citing a spike in crashes in the city.