Attention all local and traveling drivers: Prescott Valley’s new ordinance on distracted driving went into effect as of last Saturday. The ordinance bans the use of handheld communication devices while driving. Officers will start issuing warnings and inform drivers of the new law, which goes into full effect on March 1st, where violators will then be cited. Officials say handheld devices can be used if the vehicle is safely stopped off the side of the roadway and can also be used to call safety and medical personnel.
Prescott Valley is following Yavapai County and Chino Valley, who have also put similar ordinances into effect. Legislation is moving through the state house that would ban distracted driving statewide, if it’s passed and signed into law by Governor Ducey.
On October 3, 2018, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors held the second and final hearing for adoption of Ordinance 2018-2. The ordinance would regulate the use of communication devices and texting while operating a motor vehicle. There were several people in attendance that spoke in support of the measure and only one person speaking in opposition. After several minutes of comments from the public, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the ordinance.
Yavapai County Board of Supervisor Jack Smith, said, “It was my honor to make the initial motion to adopt this ordinance, which will save lives.” Supervisor Smith went on to state, “Think about what we did here today. I applaud you all for coming out today and know that we will be taking this issue to the State Legislature again this year and will be having a very thorough discussion about the distracted driving ordinance we passed today.”
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Craig Brown, who offered the second for the motion said, “This is a culmination of three years of work and is something we have begged the legislation to act on, but in their absence, Yavapai County will take the lead in adopting this critical new ordinance.”
The ordinance states: A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding in his or her hand, typing on or otherwise manually operating a portable communications device. While Arizona still does not have a state-wide ban of cell phones while driving, Yavapai County has become the third county in Arizona to approve an ordinance to ban cell phone use behind the wheel. See a copy of the full ordinance here.
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