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Glendale City Council passes ban on texting while driving

( Photo/Roman Pohorecki)

PHOENIX – Leaders of another Phoenix-area city have passed an ordinance that banned texting while driving.

The Glendale City Council unanimously adopted the directive at Tuesday’s meeting.

The West Valley city joined a handful of other Maricopa County governments that put distracted-driving measures into place. Fountain Hills, Phoenix, Tempe, Surprise and El Mirage have some form of law against drivers using cellphones or other handheld devices.

Drivers calling emergency services or first responders, a hospital or doctor were exempt from fines, which starts at $250 for a first offense.

The ban goes into effect Feb. 7.

The same day the city was passing the ban, a police officer with the Salt River force was killed during a traffic stop on a Phoenix-area freeway, hit by a man who admitted he had been texting.

Officer Clayton Townsend had pulled over another driver on Loop 101 near McDowell Road when he was hit.

Townsend, a husband and new father, died at a hospital.

“We are all mourning the tragic death of Officer Townsend,” Glendale Police said in an email Wednesday to KTAR News 92.3 FM, and would announce at a later date how it planned to enforce the texting ban.

“Distracted driving is a huge problem on highways,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col. Frank Milstead told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes.

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