Arizona lawmaker proposes statewide ban on texting while driving - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Arizona lawmaker proposes statewide ban on texting while driving

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Arizona State Rep. Victoria Steele (D - Dist. 9) Arizona State Rep. Victoria Steele (D - Dist. 9)
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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

A state lawmaker is pushing a ban on texting behind the wheel on Arizona roadways.

Democratic state representative Victoria Steele, of Tucson says her proposed legislation would make it a civil traffic violation for those caught sending or receiving text messages while driving.

Drivers would face a $200 fine.

Steele says her bill is inspired by the death of a Department of Public Safety officer last year.   He was in car, parked along a freeway in the Yuma area when a distracted truck driver slammed into his patrol vehicle, killing him.

That trucker is accused of looking at images of women on his phone at the time.

Jorge Espinoza is charged with murder and other counts in the death of Officer Tim Huffman, who was a 14-year veteran of the department.

"The intent of this bill is to keep people from driving distracted.  Too many people have died as a result of distracted drivers and texting is particularly concerning because you take your eyes off of the road, you take your attention off of the road and you have your hand on the phone, so my bill would make it a traffic violation to do that," said Steele.

Steele says her proposed texting ban would not target drivers who use hands-free devices while driving.

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