The Tucson City Council will have a public hearing about it’s proposed ordinance banning texting while driving Tuesday night.

The council meeting starts at 5:30 in the City Council chambers at 255 West Alameda Street.

The public is encouraged to speak at the meeting and will be given five minutes each to discuss it.

Here is what the proposal says:

“A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on a street while using a personal digital assistant to send or receive a written digital message while the motor vehicle is in motion.”

It allows for several exceptions including: law enforcement and emergency personnel, people with commercial drivers licenses who are working, public transit operators, someone reporting reckless or negligent behavior and communicating with someone during an emergency.

If a person is caught violating the ban but has not caused a crash, it would be a civil penalty of at least $100. If the texting was the cause of a crash, the fine would be at least $250.

According to the memo submitted by Uhlich and Kozachik, 34 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving, but the Arizona State Legislature has failed to follow suit despite several attempts to do so starting in 2004.

In 2007, Phoenix instituted their own ban on texting while driving. As late as last year, the state legislature would not pass a ban on texting, which prompted officials to work on a local ban.

3 thoughts on “Public hearing on Tucson’s texting ban Tuesday”
  1. From a comment about the texting ban on Facebook: “To anyone planning on attending and commenting: Please request that any ordinance that the city is proposing is a primary stop. This will give law enforcement officers the necessary teeth to enforce such a law. As you may be aware seatbelt usage is not a primary stop in Arizona. Only upon stopping a vehicle for another reason can a ciation be issued.”

  2. This should be a no-doubter, including the requirement that the ordinance be a primary stop ordinance.  Of course, as we’ve seen too many times, things that should be often end up being not what they should be.

  3. No, this shouldn’t be a primary stop issue.  We don’t need to give the police any other reasons to pull drivers over.  Of course, if you’re not breaking the law you should have nothing to fear, but how many of you know all of the laws and are sure that you’re not breaking them?  

    I’m all for banning texting, eating, reading, shaving, putting on makeup, and other things while driving.  I’m even for them pulling people over and ticketing them, if that’s the only thing they can be pulled over and ticketed for.  All too often, primary stops are just the beginning. 

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