• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

Area Info

San Tan Valley Area Information

2 minutes reading time (495 words)

New Cell Phone Law takes affect Jan 1, 2021

cellphoneusage

Starting January 1, 2021 you could be pulled over and cited (civil traffic) for using your cell phone while driving.

The new law states a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a street or highway if the person does either of the following:

  1. Physically holds or supports with any part of the person's body either of the following:
    • A portable wireless communication device, except that a person may use a portable wireless communication device with an earpiece, headphone device or device worn on a wrist to conduct a voice-based communication.
    • A stand-alone electronic device.
  2. Writes, sends or reads any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, email or internet data, on a portable wireless communication device or stand-alone electronic device. This does however exclude the use of voice-based communications, including through the use of a portable wireless communication device or stand-alone electronic device, to direct the writing, sending, reading or other communicating of any text-based communication; the use of a portable wireless communication device or stand-alone device when used in a hands-free manner for navigation of the motor vehicle; use of a global positioning system or obtaining motor vehicle information or information related to driving a motor vehicle.

The law does not prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while using a device, including a device that is accessible through an interface that is embedded in a motor vehicle, that allows communication without the use of either of the driver's hands, except to activate or deactivate a function of the device.

Click here to read who is exempt from this new legislation.

Any who violates the law is subject to a civil penalty of:

  • at least $75 but not more than $149 for a first violation.
  • at least $150 but not more than $250 for a second or subsequent violation.

Now your rights:
  • If you are stopped for an alleged violation the peace officer is not authorized to take possession of or otherwise inspect a portable wireless communication device in the possession of the operator unless otherwise authorized by law.
  • Except as provided in section 28-3312, a department or agency of this state may not consider a violation of this section for the purpose of determining whether the person's driver license should be suspended or revoked.

What is a "portable wireless communication device"?
  • A cellular telephone, a portable telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand-alone computer, a global positioning system receiver or a substantially similar portable wireless device that is used to initiate or receive communication, information or data.
  • Does not include a radio, citizens band radio, citizens band radio hybrid, commercial two-way radio communication device or its functional equivalent, subscription-based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, amateur or ham radio device or in-vehicle security, navigation or remote diagnostics system.

What is a "stand-alone electronic device"?
A portable device other than a portable wireless communication device that stores audio or video data files to be retrieved on demand by a user.
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