A bill outlawing texting and driving runs into a dead-end for another year in the Arizona Legislature. Senator Steve Farley says his bill has fallen victim to the will of Senate President Andy Biggs, a Gilbert Republican, who opposes the measure. Farley, a Tucson Democrat, is all too familiar with the roadblocks, having fought for a texting-driving ban since 2007 with no success.
Farley says this year’s obstacle was Biggs assigning the legislation to 3 committees, giving it more hurdles to overcome in its quest to reach the Senate Floor. It passed unanimously in the Senate Government Committee after panel members heard heartbreaking stories from D-P-S Officer Tim Huffman’s family. A semi truck driver looking at his cell phone crashed into Huffman’s patrol car in 2013, killing him. But Farley says the Chairs for two other committees withdrew their commitment to hear the bill.
Farley’s bill would’ve banned sending text messages only, not just looking at them. He says his only hope now for passage this year is latching the issue onto another bill compatible with its objectives.
Farley says, over the years he’s received e-mails from and met with family members of victims hurt and killed in texting-driving accidents. And he says they’re longing for the practice to be outlawed. Despite the latest setback, he vows,” I’m not going to give up.”