TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) - Texting and driving laws just got a whole lot stricter in Tempe.
Tempe City Council unanimously approved a harsher law banning drivers from using handheld devices on Thursday night.
Now, officers can stop Tempe drivers if they see them holding a mobile device behind the wheel while talking into it or typing.
You can use your device if you're using it hands-free, if you're stopped at a red light or if you're parked on the side of the road.
It's a little unclear if a driver can touch their device when it's mounted or if it's left on their lap.
"It’s going to be subject to interpretation," said Fennemore Craig attorney, Marc Lamber. "The language of the statute speaks to manually operating the phone. Manually would mean using your hands... it also references typing, so to me that would be covered by the ordinance, and it would be banned...if it’s just one swipe, and you’re really doing that, that’s an exception."
Cities are passing their own laws about texting and driving since Arizona still doesn't have a common statewide ban.
"If the state law does take effect, it won’t be until 2021, so that’s two more years. So we wanted to adopt what was the best, most commonsense law, and then when the state adopts theirs, we’ll align our law to their law," said Tempe's Vice Mayor, Lauren Kuby.