City hands-free fines higher than expected - Tucson News Now

City hands-free fines higher than expected

Drivers are not allowed to use their phones at stoplights or stop signs. (Source: KOLD News 13) Drivers are not allowed to use their phones at stoplights or stop signs. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Drivers can no longer use their phone when driving in Tucson.

The city’s hands-free ordinance went into effect Thursday, Feb. 1. It gives police the chance to ticket a driver as a primary offense, rather than secondary offense. 

However, there is a 30-day grace period where drivers who are pulled over will only receive a warning. Beginning March 3, drivers who violate the ordinance will be ticketed.

According to Tucson police warning cards, the fines are: $143 for the first offense, $234 for the second, $417 for the third, and $509 if the cell phone use caused a crash.

Even though the Tucson City Ordinance says the initial fine is $50, the state of Arizona adds a $73.10 surcharge, and another $20 for administrative costs, and the actual fine is nearly three times what the city passed.

If an accident is involved, the city fine is $250 which the state tacks an additional $239.10 for its share, the $20 administrative fee and the fine totals out, $509.10, far more than the city intended.

A Tucson police spokesperson said he was surprised at the additional costs but felt to be fair, the higher fines needed to be added to the informational cards.

Some people, like Wakena DeBoski, feels the higher fines are "fair as long as it saves lives."

How to measure that will likely have to come from future studies.

David Tineo, a former art instructor, feels however, that could hurt the poor.

"The majority of vehicles going to be stopped are going to be older vehicles," he said. "Most officers will realize the newer vehicles have hands free, so that is going to impact lower wage earners."

Yvonne Gilquist believes the fines are not high enough.

"People are driving and they are not paying attention to where they're going," she said. "And people are getting hit by cars."

Drivers are not allowed to use their phones even at stoplights or stop signs.

Tucson's previous hands-free ordinance made the violation a secondary offense, meaning drivers had to be stopped for another reason before officers could write a ticket for phone use.

MOBILE USERS: Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • TrafficMore>>

  • Pima County road closures

    Pima County road closures

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:33:20 GMT
    Wednesday, August 15 2018 11:36 AM EDT2018-08-15 15:36:29 GMT
    (Source: Twitter)(Source: Twitter)

    Pima County road conditions as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15.

    Pima County road conditions as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15.

  • As UA students move in, police urge traffic safety

    As UA students move in, police urge traffic safety

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 10:10 AM EDT2018-08-15 14:10:14 GMT
    (Source: KOLD News 13)(Source: KOLD News 13)
    (Source: KOLD News 13)(Source: KOLD News 13)

    Police want to remind the public to be cautious around the University of Arizona as students kick off move-in days Wednesday, Aug. 15.

    Police want to remind the public to be cautious around the University of Arizona as students kick off move-in days Wednesday, Aug. 15.

  • Prepare for traffic re-route near Ina Road construction

    Prepare for traffic re-route near Ina Road construction

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 9:27 AM EDT2018-08-14 13:27:09 GMT
    (Source: KOLD News 13)(Source: KOLD News 13)
    (Source: KOLD News 13)(Source: KOLD News 13)

    Drivers headed towards the Ina Road and I-10 interchange need to budget a little extra time into their drive because construction crews are re-routing westbound traffic on Ina Road to the southern side of the new divided roadway.

    Drivers headed towards the Ina Road and I-10 interchange need to budget a little extra time into their drive because construction crews are re-routing westbound traffic on Ina Road to the southern side of the new divided roadway.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Father charged in fatal beating of man who followed daughter into restroom

    Father charged in fatal beating of man who followed daughter into restroom

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 6:53 AM EDT2018-08-15 10:53:44 GMT
    Melvin Harris, 40, is charged with second-degree murder after allegedly beating a man to death. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office/KPHO/KTVK/CNN)Melvin Harris, 40, is charged with second-degree murder after allegedly beating a man to death. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office/KPHO/KTVK/CNN)

    The father’s 16-year-old daughter says she was using the restroom when the man barged in and shook her stall door, trying to get inside.

    The father’s 16-year-old daughter says she was using the restroom when the man barged in and shook her stall door, trying to get inside.

  • Italy hunts for blame in bridge collapse that killed 39

    Italy hunts for blame in bridge collapse that killed 39

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 3:26 AM EDT2018-08-15 07:26:11 GMT
    Wednesday, August 15 2018 10:06 PM EDT2018-08-16 02:06:16 GMT
    (Vigili Del Fuoco via AP). In this photo released by the Italian firefighters, rescue teams work among the rubble of the collapsed Morando highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with Fr...(Vigili Del Fuoco via AP). In this photo released by the Italian firefighters, rescue teams work among the rubble of the collapsed Morando highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with Fr...

    Rescue and recovery efforts continued through the night into the morning in Italy following the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa, while authorities raised the death toll to 35 with three missing.

    Rescue and recovery efforts continued through the night into the morning in Italy following the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa, while authorities raised the death toll to 35 with three missing.

Powered by Frankly