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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
2:51 PM Mon, Nov. 12th

Editorial: Texting and driving ban needs to happen

The latest entity in Arizona to ban texting while driving is Pima County.

The county Board of Supervisors approved the ban last month and it took effect on Thursday.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department told the Associated Press it’ll be on the lookout for drivers who text on the road.

Phoenix, Tucson, Tempe, Kingman and a few counties have adopted or are considering restrictions on texting and driving.

I’m baffled why Rep. Karen Fann’s attempts to get devices out of the hands of new drivers keep getting thwarted. It just seems like a no-brainer to me.

Driving into work this week, I was at a red light behind one car with no one behind me. The light turned green. I could see the woman texting feverishly on her phone. I didn’t blow my horn – I waited to see how long it would take her to notice our green light. She finally saw it – just as it turned red. She gassed it and went anyway while I sat through another cycle, but that was OK with me. It was worth watching her total distraction. What scared me the most was she didn’t even look in either direction when she punched through the red light.

There was a total cellphone use ban in both states I lived in before moving to Arizona. The police took it seriously and drivers did, too. You’d see cars pulled off the side of the road while drivers used their phones, rather than drivers flying along the road with phones glued to their ears.

According to handsfreeinfo.com, “the Department of Public Safety marked Distracted Driving Awareness Month by noting that 2,729 collisions on Arizona highways in 2015 were linked to distracted driving. That’s roughly 10 percent.”

Someone pointed out to me how confusing the various bans must be to travelers and commuters who travel across the state… texting ok here, texting not ok over there.

Can’t we simply ban texting in our vehicles? If the state isn’t going to do it, how about Yavapai County?