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Arizona still lacks comprehensive distracted driving law

Nearly every state legislature has passed some form of law that seeks to curb the use of electronic devices while driving. Up until this legislative session, Arizona lawmakers have failed to seriously consider a wide-reaching bill banning cellphones by all motorists. Sadly, the death of a police officer due to distracted driving may be the catalyst lawmakers need to take up the issue once again.

This past July, a bill was passed banning the use of cellphones while driving by those under the age on 18. For the past 10 years, one representative has sponsored a bill that has never been voted on by the full senate. The governor has expressed his willingness to sign a measure to curb distracted driving if one were to be presented for his approval. According to the latest available figures from the Arizona Department of Transportation, approximately 3,000 wrecks in 2017 were attributed to distracted driving.

The crash that killed the police officer occurred while he was conducting a traffic stop. Another driver, who admitted to officials that he was texting while driving, struck the officer. Though the state lacks a comprehensive statewide law banning cellphone use while driving, several individual cities and towns have attempted to address the issue by instituting local laws.

There is currently a bill that has been introduced that would make it illegal to use a hand-held device while driving. Currently, only two other states have failed to pass similar distracted driving laws. Regardless of whether the current measure passes, it is likely that motorists in Arizona will continue to allow distractions to take their focus off of the road. Those who have been injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, often sustain significant monetary damages in addition to their physical injuries. Victims are entitled to seek recovery of their documented losses through a personal injury civil suit.

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