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Distracted driving law now in effect in Surprise bans texting and driving

Posted: 2:32 PM, Sep 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-07 03:46:45Z

A distracted driving law is now in effect in Surprise, making it illegal to use mobile devices that are not hands-free.

Arizona is one of just two states that does not have a statewide ban on texting and driving, however many cities are taking matters into their own hands and passing ordinances like this one. 

Violators could face a fine of $250.

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However, Surprise Police Department Chief Terry Young said during a recent interview that the purpose of the ordinance isn’t to give people fines. He says that instead, he hopes officers will have a conversation with drivers about roadway safety.

"There are drivers that don't drive in our city very often," Chief Young explained. "And they come from other cities and when it's not a state law and each city got its own sort of set of rules, it might be appropriate to just have that conversation."

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey did sign a law into effect in 2017 that put a texting ban in place for teenage drivers as a secondary offense.

RELATED: Arizona road safety advocates pushing for stricter texting ban while driving

Crash data from the Arizona Department of Transportation indicates someone is killed in a crash every nine hours in Arizona.

RELATED: Know about a road problem in your area? Submit your issue here