List of Cell Phone related driving restrictions

THIS LIST IS DRAMATICALLY OUT OF DATE; as of April 18, 2019 there are said to be twenty seven local laws(!) on the subject. On that date, the Arizona legislature finally passed a general purpose “handheld ban”.

Although the state of Arizona has no specific restrictions on operating a cell phone while driving, several cities and counties have enacted various restrictions on use of cell phones on drivers:


City or County Year Type of restriction more info
Phoenix 2007 Text Ban more info
Tucson 2012 Text Ban more info
Coconino 2014 Text and Talk (handheld) ban more info
Flagstaff 2014 Text Ban more info
Tempe 2015 drivers may not “hold” any mobile electronic device “if such driving constitutes a risk to that person or others”. more info
Pima 2016 Text and Talk (handheld) ban more info
Oro Valley 2017 Text and Talk (handheld) ban more info
Clifton 2017 Text and Talk (handheld) ban more info
Yavapai 2018 handheld ban news item ,
Ord 2018-2
Surprise 2018 handheld ban news item
Glendale 2019 handheld ban. news item
. . . .


(google docs table)

School bus drivers

School bus drivers in Arizona are prohibited altogether from using cell phones and related device when operating the bus, via an Arizona Administrative Code:

AAC R13-13-104(D)(28) Except as provided in subsection (D)(27), a school bus driver shall not use audio headsets, earphones, earplugs, Bluetooth devices, cellular phones, personal digital assistants, or other interactive wireless devices, whether or not hands-free, when the school bus is in operation.

Interstate Truck and Bus Drivers

Additionally, The US Department of Transportation issued a final rule in 2011 banning the use of hand-held cell phones by interstate truck and bus drivers while the vehicles are in operation.

Statewide Legislation, 53rd 1st Regular Session

The following bills have been introduced in the Spring 2017 (53rd 1st Regular) Session, courtesy of Look! Save a Life / Arizona:

***Sponsored Bills Prohibiting Texting/Driving & Protecting Vulnerable Road Users***

Sponsor: Senator Karen Fann
SB 1080 – teenage drivers; communication devices prohibited…
Bans cell phone use while driving for novice drivers in the first six months of their license. This is the only bill on the topic being pushed by AAA.
Easily passed Senate. Being held as of mid-April in House by Rules committee chairman Lovas, see comment below for update.

I’m concerned that this is worse than nothing. In effect, it says to new teen drivers (and everyone else!) that once they turn 16-1/2, driving while texting is A-OK. I can just imagine snapchat-while-driving parties to celebrate a 16-1/2 birthday, much like what happens with drinking on a 21st birthday. In this form, I would have to be opposed. Can only work in tandem with a statewide ban like 1087 or 1135 in place simultaneously.

Sponsor: Senator John Kavanagh

SB 1049 – text messaging while driving; prohibition…
A statewide texting ban, but does not ban reading facebook, snapchat, texts, emails, or anything else on your smartphone while driving. Also does not ban inputting visual messages. Would not have stopped Officer Huffman from being killed. Reading is as dangerous as writing in studies. This needs to be amended to ban reading as well.

Sponsor: Senator Steve Farley
SB 1135- Handheld communications devices; driving; prohibition…
Statewide hands-free only law, like the law recently enacted in Oro Valley, AZ; current law in 18 states.

Sponsor: Senator Steve Farley
SB 1086 – Sentencing; aggravating factor; texting…
Just like if you use a gun in the commission of a crime, you get more jail time, this allows judges to add jail time for the use of a cellphone while driving in the injury or death caused by a vehicle crash.

Sponsor: Senator Steve Farley
SB 1087 – Wireless communication device; driving; prohibition…
Statewide ban on the use of a handheld device to read or write a written or visual message while driving.

Sponsor: Senator Steve Farley
SB 1088 – Vehicles; collisions; injury; texting; penalty…
Allows judges to suspend a driver license if the driver has killed or injured someone while using a cellphone and driving.

Sponsor: Senator Steve Farley
SB 1085 – Vulnerable users of public ways…
Protects bicyclists, pedestrians, construction workers, first responders, and disabled people who are adjacent to or using a roadway from vehicular assault in a number of ways; establishes that throwing objects at vulnerable users or forcing them off the road are crimes.
Here is the link to both the House (60 Members) and the Senate (30 Members). It lists each elected officials email prefix and then add “” but it shows everyone in each Chamber for the 2017 Legislative Session.

New list for the Senate:
New list for the House:

How to find your district:


7 Responses to “List of Cell Phone related driving restrictions”
  1. Ed says:

    Roberts: Bill to ban texting while driving in Arizona appears dead
    The Arizona Republic, Jan. 23, 2017
    Senate Transportation and Technology Chairman Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, says he won’t hear Senate Bill 1049 because he doesn’t think his fellow Republicans are ready for it.

    Steve Yarbrough (R-Chandler) is the new Andy Biggs, president of the Senate.

  2. admin says:

    Here’s an azcentral news article about Tempe’s new law.
    The law has been referred to a the “toughest” law relating to cell use — this is probably because in the event the prohibited use results in serious injury or death, the violation becomes a class 1 (the most serious of three classes) misdemeanor. See ARS 13-707

    Below is the text of Tempe’s Ordinance:

    Sec. 19-55. Unlawful use of a mobile electronic device.
    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device if such driving constitutes a risk to that person or others. No law enforcement officer shall issue a citation pursuant to this section unless the law enforcement officer observes or has credible evidence that the operator of the vehicle is involved in an accident or observes or has credible evidence that the operator of the vehicle is driving in such a manner that poses an articulable danger to that person or other persons on the roadway that is not otherwise specified in statute.
    (b) Definitions.
    (1) Mobile electronic device means any handheld or other portable electronic equipment capable of providing wireless or data communication between two or more persons or of providing amusement, including by not limited to a cellular
    phone, text messaging device, paging device, personal digital assistant, laptop computer video game, or digital photographic device, but does not include any audio equipment or any equipment installed to the motor vehicle for the purpose of providing navigation, emergency assistance to the operator of the motor vehicle, or video entertainment to the passengers in the rear seat of the motor
    (2) Use or using means holding a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.
    (3) Hands-free accessory means an attachment, add-on, built-in feature, or addition to the mobile telephone, whether or not permanently installed to the motor vehicle, that, when used, allows the vehicle operator to maintain both hands on
    the steering wheel.
    (4) Operating a motor vehicle means operating a motor vehicle on any right of way including being temporarily stationary due to traffic, road conditions or traffic control sign or signal, but not including being parked on the side or shoulder of any right of way where such vehicle is safely able to maintain stationary.
    (c) Exceptions. The provisions of this section do not apply to:
    (1) Emergency responders using a mobile electronic device while in the performance and the scope of their official duties;
    (2) A driver who is reporting a medical emergency, a safety hazard or criminal activity, or who is requesting assistance related to a medical emergency, a safety hazard, or criminal activity;
    (3) A driver using a two-way radio or a private Land Mobile Radio System, within the meaning of title 47 Code of Federal Regulations part 90, while in the performance and scope of their work-related duties and who are operating fleet vehicles or who possess a commercial vehicle license; or
    (4) A driver holding a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the Federal Communications Commission and using a half-duplex two-way radio;
    (5) A driver using a mobile electronic device in hands-free or voice-operated mode, and
    (6) A driver using a mobile electronic device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
    (d) Aggravated. A person commits aggravated use of a mobile electronic device when he or she violates subsection (a) and in committing the violation he or she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in great bodily harm, permanent disability, disfigurement, or death to another and the violation was a proximate cause of the injury or death.
    (e) Penalties. Any person who violates section (a) shall be guilty of a civil violation and shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100) plus penalty assessment for the first offense, two hundred fifty dollars ($250) plus penalty assessment for a second offense, and five hundred
    dollars ($500) plus penalty assessment for any subsequent offense within a 24-month period. Any person who violates section (d) shall be guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
    (Ord. No. O2015.43, 9-24-15)

  3. admin says:

    March 2017 Tucson Council to likely vote on new distracted driving ban

  4. admin says:
    Teen texting bill may get new chance
    Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services Apr 11, 2017
    PHOENIX — A decision by a Peoria lawmaker to take a job in the Trump administration could finally clear the way for Arizona to have its first-ever ban on teen texting…
    Republican Rep. Phil Lovas said he will be the regional advocate for the Small Business Administration…
    It also leaves vacant the helm of the powerful House Rules Committee, through which all bills must pass to go to the House floor. One that Lovas has refused to hear is SB1080. That measure, which passed the Senate on a 24-6 margin, bans not only texting by new teen drivers but even talking on a cellphone…
    But Lovas told Capitol Media Services last week he was not interested in advancing the measure to the floor. While Lovas said he was “personally ambivalent” about the issue he had heard concerns from colleagues — he did not name names — who feared that once teens were forbidden to use cellphones and drive it would be the “camel’s nose under the tent,” paving the way for restrictions on others.”

    The bill has indeed, passed House Rules (4/17?) and will get a floor vote sometime soon. The it’s-already-illegal is a pretty common canard/misconception:
    “House Majority Whip Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, also hopes the measure falters. ‘I think it’s already against the law,’ she said, saying police can cite motorists for distracted driving if they weave in traffic because they’re on the phone’. ”

  5. admin says:

    Pima County will consider amending the ban to be more strict was to what is allowed at Board of Supervisor’s meeting May 2, 2017.
    text of proposal:

  6. admin says:

    Yavapai county; Ord 2018-02

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