As you no doubt know from recent press releases, it’s unlawful to use your “handheld electronic devices” while driving in the City of Tucson as well as outside the city limits in Pima County. Handheld electronic devices obviously will include more than just cellphone use, but we all know how dangerous it is to text while driving (don’t we?).
There are both similarities and differences between the City and County ordinances.
It is a secondary violation meaning that the traffic stop must be made for some primary violation other than use of the device.
Prohibited use includes while temporarily stopped for traffic, traffic light, or stop signs. It is not a violation if your vehicle is safely pulled off the road and has stopped at a location to remain stationary.
Penalties – No accident: $100 for first offense, $250 for second offense and $500 for third. If involved in accident – $500 minimum.
Exemptions – Sole purpose of calling emergency services, hospital, or physician; activation or de-activation of device securely connected to vehicle; law enforcement and public safety personnel.
It is a primary offense to manually manipulate handheld devices for any purposes other than to initiate, receive or engage in voice communications. This means you can be cited without any other violation.
Penalties – No accident: $100; Accident – $250.
Exemptions – law enforcement or emergency personnel, school bus drivers, use on property not open to vehicular travel by public and use while vehicle is stationary (the ordinance doesn’t define this).