Arizona lawmakers are going after teenage drivers who use wireless devices more specifically those who either talk and or text while driving in Arizona. A Senate committee advanced a bill Wednesday seeking to prohibit teenagers from using cellphones and other wireless devices while they have their learner's permit and during the first six months of their license.
The bill moved forward in a 3-1 vote. Republican Sen. Gail Griffin says she would not support the ban until other distractions, such as music, are addressed. Supporters say the ban would protect the state's youngest and most inexperienced drivers (as well as the rest of us!).
Under the proposed law, police officers could only stop violators under age 18 if they are also suspected of committing another traffic offense, such as speeding. This is called a "secondary enforcement" law. In my opinion, this part of the bill is absurd. A police officer sees a young driver on the cell phone--talking or texting in violation of the law--but they can only take action if the driver is speeding, weaving, running a stop sign, etc...
Why let it get that far? Isn't the purpose to prevent and stop dangerous driving? We have to wait for an accident to occur in order to cite a driver in violation of this law. Does that make sense?
The National Safety Council says more than 100,000 crashes per year are linked to drivers reading or texting while driving. Perhaps, if we actually ENFORCED such a law properly, we could cut down on some of these.