Texting and Driving Laws in Arizona

Many people ask about the laws governing texting and driving in the state of Arizona.  Unfortunately, the law is less than clear.  For example, as of December 2017, there is no state-wide law prohibiting texting and driving. However, there are laws prohibiting texting and driving in some jurisdictions within the state of Arizona.  Additionally, there are other laws which could result in criminal charges for causing an accident while texting and driving.

Local Texting and Driving Prohibitions

Several cities within the state of Arizona have adopted their own city-wide ordinances banning drivers from texting and driving while within the city limits.  Currently, these cities include Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson.  Coconino County has also implemented a texting ban and requires that drivers only use hands-free mobile devices while driving.

Unfortunately, there is no single website dedicated to tracking the various jurisdictions that ban texting and driving throughout the state of Arizona.   Thus, drivers are simply expected to know and abide by the rules of each jurisdiction.

Reckless and Careless Driving in Arizona

Arizona Statute § 28 – 693 prohibits reckless driving.  “Reckless driving” is defined as driving a vehicle “in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property” and is a criminal offense.  A first conviction of reckless driving carries a penalty that includes fines, as well as a 90 day suspension of your driver’s license.  A second offense carries a penalty of 20 days of mandatory jail time, as well as fines, and a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

Understanding How Texting and Driving Can be Reckless

Sometimes texting and driving is considered reckless driving.  For example, consider the effects of driving 65 miles per hour and spending 10 seconds sending a text message.  Your eyes, of course, are necessary on your phone and not the road during those ten seconds it takes to type and send your text.  In that ten-second time span, you have traveled 953 feet.  This is more than the length of three football fields.  Imagine all the obstacles that could present themselves over the length of three football fields.  Cars slowing down or coming to a stop, cars merging in front of your vehicle, a yellow light turning to red, children crossing the street.

Even at a slower speed, you still cover a considerable distance.  For example, at 35 miles per hour, you cover 51.3 feet per second, or 513 feet in a ten second time span.  You could miss important things like a child running into the street to retrieve a loose ball, a pedestrian entering a crosswalk, or traffic coming to a stop in front of you.

If You Have Been Injured by Someone Texting and Driving

Texting and driving is sometimes reckless driving.  If you have been injured, or have lost a loved one because of someone else’s reckless driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and loss.  At Miller Kory Rowe LLP, our automobile attorneys are well versed in both state and local Arizona driving laws.  We have the knowledge and experience to represent you in the most serious of cases.  Our consultations are free of charge.  There is never any cost to you unless we win your case. Contact our automobile lawyers today at (602) 461-8640 to discuss your case.

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