Challenges of enforcing Tucson's texting ban

Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin says self-enforcement on the part of drivers is a more important part of the texting ban than police enforcement.

Challenges of enforcing Tucson's texting ban

CREATED Feb 23, 2012

Reporter: Corinne Hautala

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Texting and driving in Tucson will soon cost you a $100 fine.  The ban goes into effect on April 1.

The texting while driving ban is a primary offense.  If an officer sees a driver texting and driving they can immediately pull them over and ticket them.

“I think it’s a good idea, because a lot of people are hurt by texting and driving,” said Tucson driver Robert Swanson.

“It's a good idea and it is long overdue,” said Marshall Blanchard.

City Attorney Mike Rankin told 9OYS the ban is counting more on law abiding citizens and less about enforcement.  He admits it will be challenging to enforce.

“To some level it is difficult to know if the person is checking the date, checking the time on their phone as opposed to sending a message,” said Rankin in regards to enforcement.

Like any other traffic citation if a driver fights there ticket, a judge will have the final say, after hearing both sides.

Rankin believes even without enforcement the roads will be safer, because most drivers will follow the law.

“Most people tend to actually comply with the law,” said Rankin.

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