The Tucson City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday to make using your phone while behind the wheel without hands-free equipment a primary offense.
Using your phone and driving now PRIMARY offense in @cityoftucson BUT the city reduced ticket fines. First offense: $50.
2nd and subsequent: $100
If an accident happens: $250 pic.twitter.com/YiFNOTiyqw
— Alexa Liacko (@AlexaLiacko) January 24, 2018
According to city leaders, the measure passed 4-1. Council member Regina Romero voted no. In other meetings she had cited racial profiling as a concern.
The original hands-free ordinance went into effect in Tucson on May 1, 2017. Using a phone or tablet while driving without hands-free equipment was considered a secondary offense, meaning you could only get cited if you were pulled over for another traffic violation. City council members voted to reclassify it as a primary offense so officers will be able to pull people you over just for breaking the hands-free rule.
City leaders also decided to lower the fines associated with citations. The first citation was $100, but will be dropped down to $50. The second citation will be $100.
If you are involved in an accident while on your phone, the ticket will now be $250.
The new rule won't go into effect until February 1st and there will be a 30-day period where only warnings will be handed out.
The ordinance takes full effect March 2nd.