Pima county follows action by the cities of Phoenix, and Tucson (see this article for more about Tucson), and Flagstaff as well as Coconino County, with various bans on electronic communications while driving. The state legislature has repeatedly failed to act regarding limits on use of electronic devices while driving.
Sheriff Chris Nanos worked diligently with the Pima County Government Board of Supervisors to construct a new ordinance that prohibits texting and driving in Pima County. On May 17, 2016, the ordinance was approved. It became effective on June 16th, 2016.
According to this ordinance (10.34.020): A person may not, while driving a motor vehicle on a highway, manually manipulate a handheld electronic device for any purpose other than to initiate, receive, or engage in voice communication. It is a civil traffic offense to violate this ordinance. — see more
Here is a text copy of the full ordinance:
ORDINANCE NO. 2016- 31
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA, RELATING TO THE USE OF HANDHELD ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE. (All Districts)
The Board of Supervisors of Pima County, Arizona, finds that:
1. The Pima County Board of Supervisors has the authority under Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) § 11-251(4) to lay out, maintain, control, and manage public roads, ferries, and bridges within the County; under A.R.S. § 11-251(17) to adopt provisions necessary to preserve the health of the County; and under A.R.S. § 11- 251 (31) to make and enforce all local, police, sanitary, and other regulations not in conflict with the general laws.
2. The Pima County Board of Supervisors has authority under A.R.S. § 28-626(8) and A.R.S. § 11-251.05 to adopt, by ordinance, additional traffic regulations on Pima County highways that are not in conflict with A.R.S. Title 28, Chapters 3, 4, or 5.
3. The use of handheld electronic devices while operating motor vehicles has increased in recent years and causes distracted driving, which has been shown to increase the risk of motor-vehicle crashes.
4. The Arizona Legislature, to date, has not enacted legislation directly regulating the use of handheld electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.
5. Regulation of the use of handheld electronic while operating a motor vehicle will protect the public health and safety by promoting and encouraging safe driving on Pima County highways.
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA:
Section 1. Title 10 of the Pima County Code is amended to add new chapter 10.34 to read as follows:
Chapter 10.34 USE OF HANDHELD ELECTRONIC DEVICES WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE
10.34.010 Purpose and intent.
The purpose and intent of this ordinance is to promote public safety in Pima County by restricting the use of hand held electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle on Pima County highways.
10.34.020 Prohibited conduct.
A person may not, while driving a motor vehicle on a highway, manually manipulate a handheld electronic device for any purpose other than to initiate, receive, or engage in voice communication. For purposes of this section, “drive” and “motor vehicle” have the same meaning as those terms are given in Arizona Revised Statutes Title 28, Chapter 1.
Section 10.34.020 does not apply to any of the following: 1. Use of handheld electronic devices by authorized law enforcement or emergency personnel in the performance of official duties. 2. A person driving a school bus or transit vehicle that is subject to Arizona or United States Department of Transportation regulations. 3. Use of a hand held electronic device on property that is not open to vehicular travel by the general public. 4. Use of a handheld electronic device while a motor vehicle is stationary.
10.34.040 Classification and penalty.
A. A violation of Section 10.34.020 is civil traffic violation. B. A peace officer may stop and issue a citation to a person operating a motor vehicle on a highway if the peace officer has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of Section 10.34.020 has occurred. C. A person who violates Section 10.34.020 and is not involved in a motor vehicle crash is subject to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00), plus any other penalty assessments authorized by law. D. A person who violates Section 10.34.020 and is involved in a motor vehicle accident is subject to a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00), plus any other penalty assessments authorized by law.
If any provision of this chapter, or the application of any provision of this chapter, is invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter. The provisions of this chapter are severable.
Section 2. The various County officers and employees are authorized and directed to perform all acts necessary or desirable to give effect to this ordinance.
Section 3. This ordinance is effective 30 days after the date of adoption. PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Supervisors, Pima County, Arizona, this 17th day of May , 2016. ~