DPS to crack down on texting and driving

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Texting and driving -- it's something a lot of people do.

"It's a leash. You feel like you're trained and you have to answer and you're stuck doing it," Ivan Jimenez said.

"I guess people get addicted to that constant activity or interaction," Jason Allen said.

This January, you'll want to make an extra effort to put down that phone and drive. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is cracking down on texting and driving in the new year.

Even though a ban on texting and driving is not in effect in our state, DPS officers will cite drivers under Arizona's law against "speed not reasonable and prudent."

Officers say there is no speed at which texting behind the wheel is reasonable and prudent. But Phoenix attorney Brent Kleinman said this statute may not do the job.

"I'm not sure how it's going to work," he said. "It refers to driving up to a school zone, driving in the rain, hilly roads."

Kleinman said AZ Statute 28-701 refers to many external elements or distractions on the road -- not ones inside your car.

"There's a lot of defense lawyers trying to line up to defend the first case because they're going to want their name on that when it gets thrown out," Kleinman said.  

The campaign starts in January. It will also include an educational push with brochures, media, video, and social media messages.