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Vote may ban handheld devices while driving

Posted at 3:37 PM, May 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-15 18:37:13-04
This week, an all-inclusive ordinance will head to the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department hopes they will approve to ban all handheld electronic devices while driving in the county. 
The city of Tucson already has an anti-texting and driving ban, but - nothing widespread through the county or even the state. 
"Reality is simply this... It's time," said Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos. 
He compared the push for this new ordinance to mandating seat-belts. 
"We heard all the excuses: 'It wrinkles my dress... I can't get out of the car quick enough if it was on fire.' Today, we've learned - it saves lives," Sheriff Nanos said. 
He tells KGUN9, that we have run out of reasons not to change and we cannot wait for the state legislature to make it happen. 
"If we wait for Phoenix for everything, we're really in bad shape," Sheriff Nanos said. "We need to step out and take care of this.
Arizona is one of two states in the nation without a statewide texting or electronic devices ban for drivers.
This new ordinance in Pima County would allow deputies to pull a driver over for texting, emailing, surfing the web, etc. Sheriff Nanos said, actually talking on the phone would not be a violation, however. 
"I'm not worried about the fines. What I'm hoping we'll do is - like any other law, you put it in place and 98-percent of the people are going to comply," Sheriff Nanos explained. 
The lesson could be expensive if they follow city of Tucson standards. Now, it is a $100 ticket if a driver is caught and it can be bumped up to a $250 fine if the distraction causes an accident. 
The board will vote on the measure on Tuesday, May 17.