NewsOperation Safe Roads


El Mirage enacts ban to fight distracted driving

Distracted Driving
Posted at 8:47 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 22:47:42-05

Fighting back against distracted driving - El Mirage is the latest Valley city to tell drivers, "Put it down!"

"It's a good thing," explained Alan Martinez, who says he was hit by a distracted driver over the summer. "With people using their phones, it's riskier for everybody, especially someone who has kids."

Martinez has two small children and a baby on the way. He knows he has precious cargo on board and is glad to see the city working to protect them. 

El Mirage isn't the only Valley city taking action. 

In 2015, Tempe enacted its own distracted driving ban.  

Surprise put into effect its own over the summer. Other Arizona cities like Flagstaff and Tucson have their own on the books as well. 

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The El Mirage ban goes into effect Dec. 21. It requires drivers use a hands-free system while on the road. And if you don't obey and get caught, you could face a $250 fine.  

Safety experts say all of these municipal-level bans are a step in the right direction but say more than ever; the state needs to act to make these laws consistent. 

"So whether you're in Tucson, Flagstaff, or anywhere in between, you'll know what you are or are not allowed to do behind the wheel. There is no question about it," explained Michelle Donati with AAA. 

In July 2018, the state put a new law into place that bans teen drivers from texting if they only have their permits or if they've had their licenses for six months or less. Some experts suggest that law needs to be expanded to include all drivers.