Tempe's New Texting While Driving Ordinance

This weekend Tempe’s new texting while driving ordinance goes into effect.   The fines associated with this ordinance will not go into effect until January 1, 2016; however, the ordinance becomes law on October 24,2015.  If you are stopped before the January 1 date, police will simply give you a warning.  However after January 1, the fines start at $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for any subsequent violation within 24 months of the first offense.  Additionally, the ordinance applies not only to texting on your phone but the use of any electronic device if the driving and use constitutes a risk to yourself or others.  Meaning if you’re asking Siri or Cortana  where best pregame festivities close Sun Devil Stadium is, and you swerve into the lane next to you, you could be cited.  This would be in addition to any other violations.

The goal of the ordinance is obvious, to cut down on accidents, particularly serious pedestrian related injury accidents.  The reality is that an texting while driving statute should not be your motivation not to text and drive.  Texting and driving is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicating.  Either carry the strong possibility in causing an injury accident.