Statewide driving and texting ban bill clears first hurdle

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An emotional Susan Huff speaks about her father's passing. 9 Feb. 2018 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) An emotional Susan Huff speaks about her father's passing. 9 Feb. 2018 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona and Montana are the only two states in the U.S. that do not have a statewide ban on texting while driving.

However, a unanimous vote Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Transportation and Technology, brought SB 1261 one step closer to becoming law.

Arizona lawmakers have been trying to pass a statewide texting and driving ban for a decade, but have failed each time.

[RELATED: Ducey signs bill banning teen drivers from using cell phones]

SB 1261 would make it between a $25 and $99 fine for the first offense and $100 and $200 after that.

It would also allow for the defendant to be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor and pay up to $4,000 if texting and driving led to seriously injuring or killing another person.

Meanwhile, counties and communities have refused to wait for one.  Pima County created and passed  their own ordinance.

[RELATED: Pima county texting and driving ban takes effect]

Families impacted by the consequences of texting and driving support the bill.

It's been almost two years since Susan Huff's father Tom Hall died by a driver who admitted in the police report she was reaching for her phone when she hit him.

[RELATED: Family of firefighter killed by driver searching for phone spearheading 'Tom's Law']

Hall, a retired Phoenix firefighter, was on his motorcycle.

The crash happened on April 2, 2016 in Yavapai County.

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