Surprise's Cellphone Driving Ban Goes Into Effect

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 9:41am
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A tough cellphone ban in the city of Surprise starts Thursday, a month after the City Council voted to join other Arizona cities and counties in banning devices while driving. 

Drivers are now prohibited from talking on a cellphone, sending a text message or using other hand-held communication devices. There are exceptions if the device is in hands-free mode or in the case of an emergency.

Police will generally issue warnings for the first 30 days of a new law, said Surprise police Sgt. Tim Klarkowski, but then drivers will face a $250 fine for a first offense.

The cities of Prescott and Tucson and Pima and Coconino counties have rolled out similar bans in recent years.

The state of Arizona has distracted diving laws on the books, but advocates of cellphone bans say they're more of a deterrent and cellphone use is easier to prove than general "distracted" driving. 

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