What Arizona Teens Need to Know About New Driver Cell Phone Legislation

beginner driving schoolParents will do just about anything to keep their kids safe. But even when they stress the importance of safe driving habits, they can’t be in the car every time their teen heads out on the open road. In an effort to keep inexperienced drivers safe and make sure their focus stays where it should, the state of Arizona just passed legislation that will limit cell phone use for new drivers.

Thanks to Governor Doug Ducey, it will soon be illegal for drivers with learner’s permits to text or make calls while behind the wheel. The same law extends to teens during the first six months of having their actual license.

The consequences of being caught will probably be considered fairly severe by many teens. First-time violations can carry a $75 fine and having their new motorist restrictions (which include limitations on the number of teen passengers and for nighttime driving) extended for an extra month. If a teen gets caught a second time, they’ll likely pay a $100 fine and enjoy an additional six months of restrictions. Third violations will receive a 30 day license suspension.

While some legislators pushed back against the legislation, citing that parents have a responsibility to make sure these instances aren’t happening, Ducey knows first-hand that parental advice isn’t always sufficient. Of course, the governor hopes that parents are talking to their kids about the dangers of texting and driving. But now, the law will enforce those lessons.

The law won’t go into effect until July of 2018, so until that time, parents will have to bear the full burden of responsibility. Once it goes into effect, Montana will be the only state in the union that has no restrictions on teen drivers using cell phones. Currently, 46 states plus the District of Columbia ban text messaging by drivers of any age.

While distracted driving is incredibly dangerous for all drivers, it’s particularly so for teens. Around 25% of ninth graders report they’ve already been in a car crash as a passenger. Cell phones are so ubiquitous now that the temptation often proves too great. Young drivers may not think it’s a big deal to check their messages or look down at the phone in their lap for navigation. They also may not think twice about how dangerous it could be to give their friends a ride or drive late at night. While Arizona will now place restrictions on all of these behaviors, it’s important that both inexperienced and seasoned drivers alike understand the hazards of these practices. Beginner driving school is often an important first step in recognizing and eliminating these dangers.

Drivers education classes will not only educate you on how to properly drive a vehicle and become more confident behind the wheel. In beginner driving school, you’ll also learn all about the road laws that impact your daily life and how you can avoid dangerous distracted driving. Whether you’ve just gotten your learner’s permit or just don’t feel comfortable on the road, beginner driving school can help you learn how to stay safe and make good decisions behind the wheel.

Want to find out more how Mesa driving school can help you become a better driver? Our beginner driving courses and defensive driving classes will teach you everything you need to know. For more information, contact Driving Arizona today.

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