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Senate rejects texting while driving ban

The Arizona Senate has rejected an effort to create a statewide ban on texting while driving by amending an existing House bill.

Democratic Rep. Steve Farley of Tucson said deaths and injuries caused by drivers who were distracted by texting make a compelling argument for the ban. He gave several examples of horrific accidents cause by distracted drivers.

Senate President Andy Biggs argued against the amendment. The Republican said state law already makes reckless driving illegal and a texting ban isn’t required.

The amendment failed on a 16-12 party-line vote Tuesday with two Senators absent.

The underlying bill received initial Senate approval on a voice-vote. It bans marketers from sending unsolicited text messages.

Text-message driving bans have repeatedly failed in the Legislature in recent years.