The Mayor and Tucson City Council voted 4-2 Tuesday to direct the city attorney to amend an ordinance that would make texting and driving and the use of handheld electronic devices by motorists a primary offense in city limits (item 1 in Study Session agenda materials). The vote also would lower the fines currently imposed for violations.
Once the revised ordinance is adopted at a future meeting, Tucson Police Department (TPD) officers no longer would have to see or suspect another violation to be able to stop drivers and cite them for using an electronic device, which they currently have to do as a secondary offense.
Under the revision to the current ordinance, the civil violation fines would be reduced from $250 to $50 for a first-time offense. A second violation would be $100, and future citations would carry a $250 fine. Council Members Regina Romero and Richard Fimbres voted against the change. Read more in the Arizona Daily Star. Watch the Tucson 12 videos "Put the Phone Down" below in English or Spanish.