Introduction

Tempe recently passed a city ordinance that gives law enforcement additional authority to fine drivers for texting and driving. According to azcentral.com, if an officer sees your vehicle swerving and sees your cell phone out, that officer can stop you and issue a citation for texting and driving. It is not clear if it is simply “texting” and driving, or whether it is using your device at all. There is also no mention what authority the officer has to rifle through your phone, if at all.

Most states have penalties for cell phone use and driving, although Arizona as a state does not. In Arizona, the cities of Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and now Tempe each have specific laws, but none that can be enforced statewide. Being cited for this violation will only be a city code violation, meaning it will not be reported to the Motor Vehicle Department, and you will not get points on your license. That being said, the city will still happily charge you a fine, as they tend to do. The law is expected to take effect within approximately 30 days.