Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona has signed legislation prohibiting drivers from using or holding a cellphone, reports KTAR News.
The new law, which was signed April 22, makes it illegal to physically hold or support with any part of the body a mobile phone or other portable device while behind the wheel. Devices that can be used in a hands-free mode or are integrated with the vehicle's control interface are exempt.
House Bill 2318, which is now law, carries with it a minimum fine of $75 and up to $149 for a first offense. Subsequent violations can mean fines of at least $150 but no more than $250, reports Arizona Capitol Times.
The new law goes into effect in January 2021. It will override existing local statues in various cities like Phoenix, Tempe and Surprise. Until the law goes into effect, officers will issue warnings to get the public ready to abide by the statewide regulation, note reports.
The new law does make exceptions for motorists who are parked — they can call or text at will. In addition, drivers stopped at a traffic light or waiting for a train to clear a railroad crossing are exempt, notes the Capitol Times.
Finally, fleet drivers with commercial licenses communicating with a dispatcher are not subject to the law, according to the report.