Oro Valley officials, community members discuss distracted drivi - Tucson News Now

Oro Valley officials, community members discuss distracted driving

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
ORO VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Oro Valley officials, Oro Valley Police Department and community members will discuss distracted driving and a possible hands free ordinance. 

The "community conversation on distracted driving" took place Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Hilton El Conquistador. 

Community members had the chance to express their concerns and share ideas on how to make the roads safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. 

Oro Valley Mayor Lou Waters said some kind of a hands free ordinance is currently in the works. He said the ordinance should ban any kind of cell phone use, unlike current Tucson and Pima County ordinances.  

He said Arizona is only one of two states in the entire country that does not have a statewide texting/cell phone use law. Waters said he personally would like to see a hands free ordinance, which means no cell phone use of any kind while driving. 

"Some people see this as a personal issue. You want to take my phone away. This is a public safety issue. You look away and you could kill yourself or you could kill somebody else. It's as simple as that," Waters said. 

Lieutenant Chris Olson with the Oro Valley Police Department said ordinances like the one Tucson and Pima County have can have little impact because they don't ban all cell phone use. 
"You place a real difficult burden on the law enforcement to determine if the person who had a phone in their hand was actually texting, as opposed to dialing, looking at photos, changing their Pandora Radio station. Because under the city ordinance and the county ordinance those are allowed," Lt. Olson said. 

Among those in attendance was Arlene Applebaum. Her daughter Barbara Applebaum passed away Sept. 3 following a crash in Oro Valley on April 17. 

She said the driver who hit her daughter was distracted and ran a red light. Applebaum said something needs to change. 

"I just want to see something done," said Applebaum. "You give the police the laws, they'll enforce them." 

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