TUCSON — The Tucson Police Department has pulled over nearly 5,000 drivers since the city’s hands-free ordinance went into effect in February 2018.
“Distracted driving I would rank up there with DUI,” TPD Sgt. Mike Allen said Friday.
Allen helps lead the department’s motorcycle division.
TPD will now begin to add patrols to various locations throughout the city thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
“We’re looking for hands free violations but we’re doing it in two different stages,” Allen said. “The first stage is using an officer on a motorcycle, as well as an officer at the same time in the same location in an unmarked vehicle to figure out which is the best platform to figure out these violations.”
Brendan Lyons, the Executive Director of Look! Save A Life nearly lost his life when he was riding his bike in 2013. He was hit by distracted driver.
“Your car is not a phone booth,” Lyons said. “It’s not worth it. There’s countless families that have lost loved ones due to something that has been completely preventable.”
Lyons is pushing for a statewide hands-free law as Arizona lags behind much of the nation.
Allen tells News 4 Tucson distracted driving goes beyond the phone.
“I’ve seen people eating cereal, bowl in one hand, spoon in the other,” he said. People are reading a book, reading a newspaper, or a dog between them and the steering wheel interfering.”