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Arizona outlaws hand-held phone use while driving

Posted: 2:29 PM, Apr 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-22 17:29:45-04
With no state law, Surprise bans cellphone use by drivers

PHOENIX — One of the last places in the United States where drivers are free to do what they want with their cellphones is going hands-free.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday signed legislation that makes it illegal to hold a phone while driving. The move ends a decade of Arizona resisting as nearly all other states took steps to outlaw driving distractions caused by cellphones.

The death of a police officer hit by a distracted driver, heartbreaking stories from others who lost their loved ones and a wave of phone restrictions by local governments convinced lawmakers to change course.

Arizona becomes the 48th state to ban texting and the 18th to ban any hand-held phone use while driving. Officers can begin issuing warnings immediately and can write tickets in 2021.