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Tucson City Council approves changes to hands-free ordinance

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 12:16:55-05

The Tucson City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday to make using your phone while behind the wheel without hands-free equipment a primary offense.

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.

READ MORE: Tucson City Council votes to make changes to hands-free ordinance

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.