UPDATE: Tucson city leaders vote 5-2 to pass hands free ordinance

Published: Mar. 21, 2017 at 9:38 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:19 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - On Tuesday night the Tucson city council voted 5-2 to pass a hands-free ordinance.

It would make holding your phone in your hand while driving a secondary offense. That means you have to break a traffic law first.

Council members discussed having an educational period before the ordinance goes into effect, which could be as soon as May 1. Council plans to revisit the issue in six months to look at statistics and see if they need to make revisions.

The city passed a texting ban four years ago, but police have struggled to enforce it.

Earlier this year, the city of Oro Valley passed a "hands-free ordinance." Now Tucson wants to follow suit.

The new rules would make the use of the phone a secondary offense; meaning drivers would still have to get pulled over for something else first.

Karen Wilson knows the consequences of distracted driving all too well.

In 2015, her son, Dan, was hit and killed by a distracted driver.

"We are a fractured family and it hurts, it hurts real bad," she said.

Wilson is now pushing city leaders to go forward with the ban in honor of her son.

"This is a year and a half now that he has been gone. It has gotten worse. I love my family, they are great, but it will never, never be the same," she said.

Tuesday would have been Dan's 32nd birthday.

Wilson said a loss like hers is something she'd never want any parent to go through, which is why she's pushing so hard for tougher driving laws.

"I try not to cry, but I do cry," she said. "Then I get myself back together again, and I move on with what I need to do. My heart is broken and it will never ever heal. I'll get through it…but my heart will always be broken."

Council members will vote during their weekly meeting at City Hall at 5:30 p.m.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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