PHOENIX — 2021 is officially the first year a ban on distracted driving in Arizona went into effect.
But as advocates had hoped to celebrate this win that was more than a decade in the making, they were forced to take the Fifth Annual Arizona Distracted Driving Summit to a virtual platform.
"I just think all different stories will hit somebody and maybe change somebody's bad driving behavior," said Barbara Hoffman.
Hoffman recently retired from her role as Executive Director with the Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance. She worked this year as a facilitator for the Distracted Driving Summit.
"I think it's important this year that we get the word out that this law that finally got done... I think it took... 13 years how many times it was down at the capitol and they finally got it right," Hoffman said.
She believes, there is a lot of good in a virtual event. It is something families can access at any time on their own schedule to start conversations about safety with videos, brochures, engagement activities, and more.
"We're going to keep uploading stuff all the way up until April, which is National Distracted Driving Month," Hoffman explained. "And hopefully that will be the peak of all the material that we get."
After fighting for so long to get a law on the books, Hoffman is thinking of the son she lost to a distracted driver.
"I think.... that he's probably proud of me for fighting for his memory," Hoffman said, holding a picture of Michael. "That's what I do it for."
To view the materials from the virtual Fifth Annual Distracted Driving Summit, click here.