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HANDS-FREE USE: Means the use of a mobile communication device without the use of either hand.
MOBILE COMMUNICATION DEVICE: Means a wireless communication device that is designed to engage in calls, and/or receive and transmit text, images, and/or data.
OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE: Means being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway or street and includes being temporarily stopped because of traffic, a traffic control device or otherwise, but excludes operating a motor vehicle when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of the road or off a roadway and has stopped at a location in which the vehicle can safely remain stationary.
B. Prohibited Use: No person shall, except as otherwise provided in this section, use a mobile communication device while operating a motor vehicle upon a street or highway, unless that device is specifically designed or configured to allow hands-free use and is used in that manner while operating a motor vehicle. A law enforcement officer may stop a motor vehicle or motor driven cycle if the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe a violation of this section is occurring.
C. Exemptions: This section shall not apply to:
1. The use of a mobile communication device for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an immediate emergency situation, safety hazard or criminal activity:
a. An emergency response operator.
b. An ambulance company.
c. Fire Department and rescue service personnel.
d. Law enforcement personnel.
e. A hospital.
f. A physician's office or health clinic.
2. The activation, initiation or deactivation of hands-free use while operating a motor vehicle.
3. The use of a mobile communication device by law enforcement, public safety personnel and persons operating authorized emergency vehicles while performing official public safety duties.
4. The use of a mobile communication device while driving on private property.
5. A person driving a school bus or transit vehicle that is subject to Arizona Revised Statutes or United States Department of Transportation regulations.
D. Affirmative Defense: It is an affirmative defense to a violation of this section if the driver was not operating the vehicle in a careless manner and was:
1. A driver: a) using a two-way radio or a private Land Mobile Radio System, within the meaning of title 47 Code of Federal Regulations part 90, while in the performance and scope of work- related duties and b) who is operating fleet vehicles or who possesses a commercial vehicle license; or
2. A driver holding a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the Federal Communications Commission and using a half-duplex two-way radio.
E. Penalties: In addition to all other penalties authorized under this Code, a person found to be in violation of this section is subject to a base civil penalty of ninety seven dollars ($97.00) in addition to all other penalties or assessments authorized by law. A person found to be in violation of this section and involved in a motor vehicle accident is subject to a base civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00), in addition to any other penalties or assessments authorized by law. (Ord. 01-2019, 1-15-2019, eff. 2-1-2019)