SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Signs are popping up in the East Valley about a ban on texting while driving, and it has nothing to do with the statewide law that passed in April 2017.
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community has outlawed it with a vote of the Young River People’s Council vote a year prior -- April 2016.
But perhaps a law isn’t enough. The council members thought they needed to raise awareness.
"Now that these signs are coming up, people will actually see it's recognized,” said Jacob Willeford, a former councilman who authored the original bill four years ago, when he was 14.
He said he saw a need in his community after observing drivers commuting through Salt River territory to avoid rush-hour traffic along Loop 101 in the Scottsdale area.
"People are always texting while driving,” he said. “We got kids playing around here. We got elderly people. We got people. It's a community. We're not just dirt."
Even though it’s been almost a year and a half since the ordinance, which you can view here, passed, the council has installed several signs over the last few weeks with the help of ADOT.
If Salt River police catch you texting while driving, you could pay $50 in fines the first time you're caught.
If you have any subsequent infractions related to texting while driving under Salt River PD's jurisdiction, the fine becomes $100 per citation.
The National Safety Council has more information and resources on texting while driving prevention and awareness.