Recently the Arizona legislature rejected a proposed bill that would have banned drivers statewide from texting while driving. Though a similar ban is in place in 20 other states, the bill did not pass, losing by a 31-28 vote. Despite the belief by many that texting or other types of inattentive driving practices cause motor vehicle accidents, it appears that several arguments made against passing the bill were the deciding factor.
Despite the decision by Arizona lawmakers, most safety advocates agree that driving while distracted is dangerous and could result in a potentially fatal auto accident. When a driver does not clearly focus on the task of driving, the likelihood of an accident increases. According to the National Safety Council, there are 200,000 accidents a year as a result of texting. A statewide law in place that would prohibit drivers from texting while driving would likely result in fewer accidents and less loss of life.
The opposition to the bill pointed out that Arizona already has a law in place, which states drivers must maintain control of their vehicle and that law encompasses texting while driving. To further their point, the opposition questioned the fairness of a law that singled out those who text versus others who eat while they drive or do other potentially distracting acts. Others argued that newer technology, which allows for the transcription of voice to text will alleviate these issues.
It is not certain at this time whether state lawmakers will revisit the issue, but the fact remains that until there is a change in habit, texting while driving will remain an issue for Arizona drivers and those injured as the result of a distracted drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured due to an accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important to understand that you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable. Speak to an Arizona personal injury attorney to learn more about your rights and legal options.
Source: East Valley Tribune,"Arizona house rejects ban of texting while driving," Howard Fischer, 3/6/12.
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