What’s in The New 2021 Arizona Hands Free Driving Law

arizona hands free law

What’s in The New 2021 Arizona Hands Free Driving Law


In 2019, the Arizona state website reported over 10,000 crashes that were the result of distracted driving. The new Arizona hands free law is intended to help lower the amount of accidents from distracted driving. It also serves to remind drivers to protect themselves and others on the road by staying aware and keeping their devices out of their hands. 

New Arizona Hands Free Law 

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) states that they do not police the streets looking for distracted drivers. However, civil penalties for violating this new law are currently in effect. 

While driving a vehicle on Arizona roads it is against the law to: 

    • Hold or support a mobile device with your body, including perching the phone on your shoulder
    • Make a call 
    • Answer an incoming call
    • Send text messages, read messages, or write messages
    • Scroll through your phone or device/look at social media apps
    • Watch videos
    • Record videos—be careful with this, because recording a video even in hands-off mode is not permissible 

You may engage in the following activities with your device while driving:

    • While parked, set your GPS route then follow the directions as you operate the vehicle
    • Use voice-based communication on your phone/device 
    • Take or answer a call using hands-free mode 
    • Make an emergency alert to summon help or report a crime

Distracted Driving Awareness

During distracted driving awareness month every April, the state of Arizona reminds us all to do a better job staying alert while behind the wheel. However, now that the new Arizona “hands free” law has been in effect for about six months, drivers have a daily reminder to stay vigilant. That reminder comes in the form of new penalties for drivers who are found handling their phones. 

Penalties for Distracted Driving

First time offenders will be subject to fines between $75 and $150, as long as no other crimes were included in the report. For subsequent offenses, violators of the hands free law will pay $150 to $250 each time they are caught engaging in distracted driving. 

An Arizona officer, Clayton Townsend, was recently killed in a car crash, presumably by a distracted driver. The driver had been texting moments before the crash. This event is what initially sparked the hands-free proposal. 

However, recent news reports state that the man facing manslaughter charges for the officer’s death was not a distracted driver. The accused presented his cell phone reports that showed no use for two minutes before the accident. A ruling on the case has not yet been made. 

Solid Representation for Arizona Court Cases

Representation in court matters! Without a skilled attorney, the outcome of your traffic offense or DUI case could be devastating. Harsh penalties exist for those found guilty of violating traffic laws. Even speeding in Arizona can be considered a criminal charge and the repercussions can include jail time, hefty fines, probation, points on your license, loss of a commercial drivers license, and more.

If you’re in need of solid representation for your Arizona traffic offense, get in touch with Todd Coolidge law offices today.





photo, “Texting while driving,” by: Jason Weaver | from flickr on 6/30/2021 | used under the Creative Commons license | no changes made