Can I talk on my phone while driving in Arizona?
Arizona is one of few states that does not have an all-out ban on using a handheld mobile device while driving. In fact, Arizona has some of the least strenuous laws across America when it comes to using a cell phone behind the wheel.
There is one exception to this law:
Drivers who are learner’s permit holders and intermediate license holders are banned from using the phone to text or talk, except in emergency situations.
Even then, using a cell phone while driving on a learner’s permit is a secondary offense. So, officers aren’t allowed to pull motorists over unless there is another reason (like speeding or running a red light) for making the stop.
Hands-Free Driving Laws in Arizona
While there is no ban on hand-held phones across the state, many municipalities have launched their own ordinances, making cell phone use limited, if not illegal, as you travel through the jurisdiction.
Cities like Surprise, AZ are launching much tougher regulations than the state law. In September, Surprise officials enacted a law that prohibits talking on a cell phone, sending a text message or otherwise using a hand-held communications device while driving in the city, unless the device is in hands-free mode.
Tucson also enacted a complete ban on handheld mobile devices while driving and made the violation a primary offense. The minimum fine for someone involved in a vehicle accident while using a cell phone will be $2,500, reports Tucson.com.
Flexibility with Cellphone Use by Arizona Drivers
While municipalities like the ones mentioned above, and others, attempt to put a harsher punishment behind the cell phone use while driving violation, there are other municipalities who have opted to follow the state’s lead – allowing cell phone use except for learner’s permit holders.
At any given daylight time across America in 2016, there were 481,000 drivers operating a vehicle with a phone to their ear. The patchwork of laws in Arizona and beyond can make driving through the state tricky, and since most drivers will not be informed on each municipality’s regulations, the safest route is to use a hands-free device while talking on the phone.