Arizona Governor signs “hands-free” law behind the wheel

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    Arizona Governor signs "hands-free" law behind the wheel The Republican Doug Ducey officially became the new governor of Arizona with a speech in which he omitted the immigration issue and border security on January 5, 2014. EFE / Archivo

     Phoenix (AZ), .- With the signature of its governor, Doug Ducey, Arizona on Monday became the 48th state to ban in the US by law sending text messages and in the eighteenth state that prohibits carrying in One hand cell phone while driving.

    At the time of signing at the Arizona State Capitol, Ducey surrounded himself with family members affected by “distracted driving.”

    “This legislation comes when Arizona says it’s not OK to send text messages or do anything else with the phone behind the wheel,” Ducey said.

    “This bill will change the behavior (of drivers) and prevent people from being on their phone, sending text messages and at the same time allowing law enforcement to be instructive.” The goal here is not to fine, but to save lives “, the governor pointed out.

    The new bill, HB-2318, comes into force immediately, but sanctions begin in 2021.
    The more than two dozen cities, towns and counties with their own restrictions on the use of the telephone may continue to apply their same laws while the law passed today comes into force.

    Lawmakers hope that people can learn about the new provision before they become subject to fines, ranging from $ 75 to $ 250.

    Through this legislation, the use of any type of electronic handheld device while driving is prohibited, although a driver may use his cell phone to report any illegal activity or to ask for help.
    Drivers can also use their mobile device while their car is parked or in a red light.

    “The nation’s 18th state to adopt a hands-free law, this is a tremendous thing, but at what cost? Many families have lost their lives and many people have suffered at the hands of a negligent motorist,” said Toni Townsend, mother of police officer Clayton Townsend, who died in January when he was hit by a driver who lost control while sending a text from his cell phone.

    “I think everyone saw this as an avoidable death, and when someone speaks with power about the passion of a mother in the name of a fallen child, how can they not deliver it to the governor’s desk?” Said Ducey.

    “The idea here is to put your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and your mind on the task at hand,” the woman exhorted, according to local media Fox 10.

    In 2017, an American teenager was the promoter of a bill for the state of Florida to punish drivers who write on their cell phone (“texting”) more harshly and reduce accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving.

    Mark Merwitzer, who did not have a driver’s license at the time, felt he had to do something about it the day he noticed that “almost every car” around him had someone writing on his mobile phone, according to Efe. own young man.

    The National Safety Council (NSC), which in April declared the month of the Distracted Driving Surveillance in 2017, estimates that more than 40,000 people in the United States died in traffic accidents a year earlier, and 4.6 million in the United States. They were injured and had to receive medical assistance. (EFEUSA)

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