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Tucson may make talkative drivers use hands-free phones

May co-ordinate law with Oro Valley & Pima County
Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-14 20:38:59-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Maybe you're one of them---the sort of person who gets anxious when their cell phone is not in their hand. You might have some adjusting to do if the City of Tucson, Oro Valley and Pima County adopt a plan to make it illegal to drive and talk on your phone, unless you use a handsfree device.
 
Tucson City Council already passed a law to prevent you from texting and driving.  Now they're considering a plan that says you may not even have your phone to your head.  Everything has to be hands free.
    
Tucson Police found out so hard to get a good enough look to tell if someone is texting and driving they they've only written a handful of tickets.
     
In four years since the texting ban TPD only issued 90 tickets and 67 warnings.
     
They may have an easier time telling when someone has the phone right to their ear.
      
Drivers we met agree phones reduce attention and raise risk.
 
Cassandra Foppe says, “'I actually totaled my car due to texting and driving.  I actually had my parents get the touch screen.  You plug your phone in and everything is spoken to you.  If you do want to text or reply to someone my car will actually read the text for me and give me the option to reply."
 
It's not all that hard or that expensive to go hands free. You do not need a fancy car stereo that will hook into your phone. You don't really need to mess with a fussy bluetooth earpiece.  In a lot of cases the simplest solution is to just get a five dollar headset that has a built in microphone.  You just have to remember when you're driving you can only use one ear.
     
Darren Jacobs says when he's driving he asks passengers to answer the phone.
 
"I do think it's a good idea to have hands free.  I think it will cause less accidents because most people do spend most of their time on the phone."
      
Tucson Police Chief Christopher Magnus says he'd like to co-ordinate with other police departments to require hands free phone use, and maybe work for a law applied statewide.