YUMA, Ariz- The Yuma City Council held a meeting Wednesday evening and the majority were in favor of banning a texting while driving ordinance. The city voted 4 to 1 on passing the ordinance which makes it the second city in the county to have a texting while distracted driving ban.
Councilmember Gary Wright said, “I think this is going to be a great ordinance to keep people safe, keep pedestrians safe you know and keep our children safe around school zones as well.”
The city said they want to reduce the accidents on the road that have resulted in distracted driving.
However, Deputy Mayor Thomas was the one person who wasn’t in favor of the ban and believes it’s another way for the government to control our rights.
Deputy Mayor Thomas said, “Can you imagine if they say hey…we’re going to institute a fine for texting and driving. We don’t need government to do that.”
However many local residents disagree with the Deputy Mayor and believe the ban is necessary.
One Yuman said, “It’s a fantastic idea. I mean if it cuts down on even one death because you don’t have to be able to text just in our county alone…I’d say that’s worth it.
Another resident said, “People don’t pay enough attention. Not just here in Yuma but in all over the United states I think it’s that way.”
If you’re driving you cannot have a cell phone in your hands you can however you a hands free device such as Bluetooth.
The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days, but as Yuma Police Chief John Lekan explains there will be a grace period where they will first educate the public for the first 60-90 days before writing up tickets.
After the first few months then tickets will be issued. Tickets start at $100 if caught being distracted while driving and if you cause an accident it will be $250. The city wants to remind everyone that this is for their safety and everyone else on the road.