AAA Arizona has endorsed passage of Arizona House Bill 2241, which would prohibit teens from using cell phones while driving a vehicle with a learner’s permit and during the first six months of the Graduated Driver License phase There is an exception for emergency situations.
The argument in favor of the bill is that driving is a complex skill that must be practiced, that a teen driver’s lack of experience plus risk taking behavior increases the risk for crashes.
Graduated Driver License programs require longer practice periods, limit the number of passengers and set forth nighttime driving restrictions for new drivers. These programs are associated with reductions of fatalities, and injuries in crashes among 16 year old drivers in Arizona and in the United States. Similar results exist in those states that have Graduated Driver License laws with cell phone restrictions.
Arizona is one of 13 states that allows cellphone use among new drivers. None of the 13 states has a lower crash rate than states that forbid cellphone use.