Proposed Teen Wireless Ban to be Heard This Week

Phoenix, Feb. 11, 2013. SB 1241, a AAA-supported bill that aims to strengthen Arizona’s Graduated Drivers License Law (GDL) will be heard by the Senate Public Safety Committee Wednesday.

Sponsored by Sen. Al Melvin (R), SB 1241 would prohibit teens from using wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle during the permit and first six months of the GDL phases, except for in emergency situations.

“As a leader in driver safety, AAA knows this legislation will save lives,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “We applaud Sen. Melvin for introducing this life-saving legislation, and urge lawmakers to take action toward removing these devices from the hands of novice drivers behind the wheel.”

Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent, according to research by Carnegie Mellon. Plus, the risk of a teen being involved in a car crash is at a lifetime high during the first 6 to 12 months and 1,000 miles of driving, according to the National Safety Council. AAA believes SB 1241 will curb dangers associated with teen drivers during that time.

AAA Arizona lobbied for the passage of Arizona’s current enhanced GDL law, which has proven to be effective. In fact, teen driver and passenger fatalities are down 16 percent from 2008 when the state’s GDL law took effect. However, AAA believes there is still room to improve, as traffic crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teens.

Arizonans can monitor the progress and take action on this bill, as well as other automotive, insurance, transportation and travel related issues by visiting AAA’s legislative action center.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.