Arizona House Protects Freedom (to Send and Read Text Messages While Driving)

If you're not a fan of looking out of the windshield while driving, we've got some good news -- the Arizona House voted down a bill that would outlaw texting and driving.

Municipal ordinances still apply -- like Phoenix's rarely used ordinance against texting and driving -- but Arizona's representatives have defended your freedom to shoot off a quick "LOL" with one hand, while you're controlling 4,000 pounds on the highway with the other.

Still, the ban that would have been enacted under the passage of House Bill 2125 called for a citation of just $50, but that went up to $200 if you were using a "handheld wireless communication device to manually write, send or read a written message while operating motor vehicle."

The bill's language came with some other caveats, too -- reading or entering a phone number to actually call someone would have been perfectly fine, as would texting while stopped at a stop sign or light.

The bill passed on a 45-15 vote, but the bill was reconsidered shortly after that -- where it failed by a vote of 31-28.

According to the Associated Press, the bill was reconsidered "after members realized it included the texting ban."

That's also known as not reading the bill, which is sad considering the entire legislation barely stretches onto a fourth piece of paper (including a cover sheet).

The part of the bill legislators apparently thought they were voting on included changes to a law concerning how written accident reports are taken by law enforcement after car crashes.

The details from both votes can be found by clicking here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley