Put your phone down while driving in Pima County, or you could face an expensive ticket. The county’s “hands-free” ordinance went into effect Thursday, June 1st.

The law requires drivers to use hands-free devices while driving in Pima County. Texting and driving or using your phone without a hands-free device has moved from a secondary offense to a primary offense.

Previously, texting and driving were a secondary offense, meaning police had to pull drivers over for another offense to cite them for texting and driving. Now, deputies don’t need another reason to pull a driver over. The ban includes the use of handheld electronic devices when a vehicle is temporarily stopped, such as at red lights or stop signs.

How much will it cost you?

The penalty for a first offense is $100.

However, if you cause a crash while using your phone, you will get a ticket for $250. A 60 day grace period is in effect, while drivers adapt to the new rule.

Only Oro Valley and Pima County treat texting and driving as a primary offense. Tucson continues to have an ordinance calling it a secondary offense.

Arizona remains one of four states not to have a law making texting and driving illegal for all drivers. In May, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a texting law that prohibits teenagers from using hand-held devices for six months after getting their driver’s license. This law goes into effect July 1, 2018.

Pima County joins Coconino County as the only two counties in Arizona to pass hands-free cellphone laws. Oro Valley already has a law in place against cell phone use while driving, similar to Pima County.

We remain hopeful that the Arizona Legislature will pass a statewide law, against the use of cell phones while driving. If you have been involved in a crash with a driver using a cell phone while driving, contact the Leader Law Firm for a free case evaluation.


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