DPS Plans on Giving Speeding Tickets to People Caught Texting While Driving

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The Arizona Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol) plans to issue speeding tickets to people caught texting while driving, starting next year.

This is due to an interpretation of state law that says you can't drive at a speed "greater than is reasonable and prudent."

DPS spokesman Bart Graves told the Arizona Daily Star, "Any speed is not reasonable when you're texting, because you're not fully in control of your driving."

"We are still developing the program, but that is the law we are using," Graves tells New Times.

Word to the wise: "Texting" is probably a blanket term meaning any staring at a cellphone while driving.

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86 comments
Jukes
Jukes

Anything that would minimize this deadly behavior should be employed. 

allen108
allen108

How absurd.  Just make texting while driving an offense with a minimum mandatory, no-plea bargain sentence of losing your license for 5 years and most people will stop doing it.  Anyone taking the risk is too goofy to be allowed to drive anyway and sholdn't have a license.  And make driving without a license punishable with a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in jail.  No, it won't crowd the jails because most people won't take the chance.  The ones that will take the chance need to be locked up because they're a serious threat to others and need to be punished severely for endangering me on the road.

_McShyster_
_McShyster_

This entirely SUBJECTIVE enforcement will no doubt be applied to TAXI CABS, UPS / FedEx, Ambulance, Firetrucks, POLICE and ALL vehicles/drivers that have Computer Terminals visible and accessible from the driver's seat, right?

Make it so !!

Wa Aayne
Wa Aayne

hell yes! ticket them!!!

jcwconsult
jcwconsult

The court challenges will be interesting. The driver was at 60 mph in a 65 zone in very light traffic.  He asks in court:  

Officer Jones, 1) Was I above the posted speed limit?  Answer, NO

2) Did you observe me driving unsafely in any way, was I weaving, crossing the centerline, driving too close to the shoulder, traveling at an uneven speed, or with any other behavior that would indicate I was not in full control of the vehicle?  Answer NO


Your honor, I respectfully request dismissal based on the officer's testimony that I was not driving unsafely or was not in full control of the vehicle.

James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

jregan12
jregan12

It's a weird interpretation of the law but I'm fine with it. I got T-Boned by a kid texting. He blew a red light at 70 and totaled my car and nearly killed me and my girlfriend. If the people you are texting can't respect that you need to stay safe (and be safe for others on the road) rather than respond immediately... they need to get over their egos.

DNichols
DNichols

All About Money?!

Last weekend while sitting in a left turn lane a D.P.S. Cruiser pulled up directly in front of me turning left into a Quick Trip, the Old Delapidated Cruisers paint was terrible it had gray primer spots all over it?!

Tis the Season to pillage.

Nuf Said.

Judi Luna
Judi Luna

Auto makers and Cell Phone maker need to design a 'system' that automatically disables the texting and 'internet' surfing' functions of the Driver of the car. Sensors in the driver seat, steering wheel?? This can be done. If it's really that important, do like we did in the old days...Pull over.

Hock
Hock

How about eating, drinking, playing with the radio, make-up, shaving, yelling at kids, letting little dogs sit on laps and BJs?

dtmac
dtmac

I thought judges interpret the law, and police just enforce them. Maybe we should take the whole AZRS over to DPS and let them re-inturpret them all as they see fit.

Connie Shannon
Connie Shannon

Not only speeding tickets but arrested for endangerment of the innocent drivers and pedestrians on or by the road...

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Wonder if this includes L/E when they are playing on their Mobile Computers while driving ?

Jeff Haskell
Jeff Haskell

Fully agree. Make the fine hurt and word will get out soon!

teknik
teknik

why isn't the texting cop wearing gloves? that's a whole 'nother safety issue.


do you know what it feels like to take a rock in the knuckle going 50 MPH?  they hit hard!

Tim Larkin
Tim Larkin

take cell companies to court to sue, for offering texting-- esp if a texter hits you,..

Jonathan Messenger
Jonathan Messenger

I bet 95% of these commenters text while driving. Even riding a bike and texting is bad.

John C. Penman
John C. Penman

A number of states now have No Texting While Driving Laws. If Arizona is one of them then it makes sense their Highway Patrol would give out tickets. Here in NJ You can't Text while driving and you can't talk on a cell phone while driving unless it's a "hands free" device.

Gretel Lorna Keith
Gretel Lorna Keith

I can't text but know of people who can do it with ease. Not sure what to think. I guess it would be hard to put everyone in a box. As far as young kids, the less distraction the better.

Chris Rowland
Chris Rowland

Honestly, our opinions don't matter. Who's going to fight this? I've know people who drive great while texting. Touch screens ruined that.

Nana Helen
Nana Helen

Good, mayb they will think before they text and drive again! I hope the fine is very high, hit them where it hurts, in the wallet! :-)

aaaa6
aaaa6

what about eating a hamburger or taking a drink from my thirstbuster.  am I gonna get a ticket for that.  dps might consider that to be a distraction.  I might staring down at my clock or radio, and they're gonna pull me over for that.  what if I need to take a look at my speedometer to how fast I am going.  I don't wanna go too fast cuz I might get a ticket by the D-P-S.

Rob Rowley
Rob Rowley

I wish I could give you 2 "Likes".

drgonzo
drgonzo

A simple "distracted driving" law avoids this bastardization of an existing law.

Caroline Maul
Caroline Maul

Daron, you are only partly right. Just like DUIs dont' stop all people from drinking and driving, and seatbelt laws don't force everyone to buckle up, having those laws have led to a decrease in DUI and unfastened seatbelt related deaths. So in that respect, you are very wrong.

Larry Bombard
Larry Bombard

At least they won't be "texting" while they're waiting to sign their tickets.... :) I like it.

Marco Cruz
Marco Cruz

All because of one little mexican who ran over a dps officer cuz his stupid ass was too busy facebooking and looking at porn on his cell phone while driving a big rig. Another DREAMer contributes to AZ society.

Nicholas John
Nicholas John

The problem is that, the people who are texting, are the ones going at or under the speed limit almost every single time.

Scarlett Ministero-Decker
Scarlett Ministero-Decker

I'll gladly give up my own freedom to text and drive, go ahead, take away my texting freedom!

Scarlett Ministero-Decker
Scarlett Ministero-Decker

My own kids do it and I yell at them. They send me texts that say "I'm driving and texting, Mom, lol!" If I were a cop, I'd arrest them for something!

Diann Ferguson Maslin
Diann Ferguson Maslin

The police in Canada hand out big tickets to people they catch texting and driving and yet people here still do it!! Craziness

Don Blank
Don Blank

Treat it like a DUI immediate night in tent city

spencerj05
spencerj05

@jcwconsult the problem is the officer wouldn't answer "no" to the second question.

"Did you observe me driving unsafely in any way..."  "Yes, you were destracted by your phone which is unsafe"

THAT is how the testimony would go.

Serfer_Joe
Serfer_Joe

@Judi Luna Why not just disable cell phones entirely in moving vehicles?

DNichols
DNichols

@dtmac;

You do remember your in Arizona, right?!

DNichols
DNichols

@Jeff Haskell;

You don't care if this is Constitutional

The ticket should match the crime, or should we allow Police to do any damn thing they want, to hell with our "Laws"?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@drgonzo  

Another way of looking at it is that this existing law was intended to cover a broad range of stupidity, and that adding yet another, more specific, law would have no benefit.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@drgonzo 

Careful.. it's a Republican state and you are making too much sense.

Serfer_Joe
Serfer_Joe

@Marco Cruz You sound like an imbecile.

drgonzo
drgonzo

@Marco Cruz wash your hood.  You're sounding like JAF

drgonzo
drgonzo

@Don Blank overreact much?

spencerj05
spencerj05

@DNichols How is it unconstitutional? You throw the word around but I doubt you've read the document if you think it applies in this instance.

bullsballs
bullsballs

@drgonzo string em up from a light pole, and nail a sign in their heads saying "TEXTING WHILE DRIVING" might get the attention of the offenders...

bullsballs
bullsballs

@drgonzo string em up from a light pole and nail a sign into their heads saying "TEXTING WHILE DRIVING" might get the offenders attention...

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