PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of text-messaging while operating a motor vehicle, according to the Web site http://www.evliving.com.
An emergency response operator.
A provider of ambulance services.
A provider of firefighter services.
A law enforcement agency.
Violation of the ordinance is a nonmoving civil traffic violation.
A person found in violation of the ordinance, but not involved in a traffic accident, is subject to a civil penalty of $100, plus any other penalty assessments authorized by law, according to the Web site www.evliving.com. A person found in violation of the ordinance is involved in a traffic accident, is subject to a civil penalty of $250, plus any other penalty assessments authorized by law.
This action comes after recent tragedies that have occurred in Arizona and other states involving drivers text messaging while driving a vehicle. The ordinance takes effect immediately, however, there will be a 30-day warning period from Sept. 20 to Oct. 19. The ordinance will prohibit the use of personal digital assistants to send or receive a written message while operating a motor vehicle. Personal digital assistants refer to a wireless electronic communication device that provides for data communication other than by voice. This ordinance does not apply to law enforcement and safety personnel, drivers of authorized emergency vehicles, holders of commercial driver licenses while driving within the scope of their employment, public transit personnel, a person who is reporting reckless or negligent behavior, a person who believes they are in physical danger and is the only adult in the motor vehicle, or those communicating with the following regarding an emergency situation: