PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Calls for a statewide ban on texting while driving is picking up momentum at the state Capitol following the death this week of a police officer.
On Friday, House Speaker-elect Rusty Bowers and Senate President-elect Karen Fann both voiced their support for legislation that cracks down on distracted driving.
Their comments mark a major shift at the state Capitol after 12 years of failed efforts to prohibit drivers from texting from behind the wheel.
The death this week of Salt River Tribal police officer Clayton Townsend appears to have triggered the change in attitude.
Townsend was hit and killed Tuesday by a driver who told authorities he was texting at the time.
“When you’re that involved in a text that you can cross two lanes of traffic and kill somebody, I know he didn’t mean to, but we gotta do something about this,” Bowers said Friday.
Gov. Doug Ducey said earlier this week that he would also support a statewide ban.
Last year, the governor signed legislation that prohibits teens from driving and texting.
Arizona remains one of three states in the country that doesn’t have a statewide ban.