Arizonans will not be banned from texting while driving, at least this year.
Proposed legislation that would have prohibited typing, reading or sending text messages and e-mails while driving on a state highway died with an 11-11 vote by the Senate on Tuesday. The bill would not have prohibited talking on the phone while driving and would have allowed drivers to type a name or telephone number to make a call.
This is the second year in a row the effort to ban texting while driving has failed despite support from dozens of organizations, including cellphone-company representatives. The Arizona Citizens Defense League opposed the measure.
Legislators who voted against it acknowledged that texting while driving is dangerous and causes many car accidents, but said they opposed unnecessary government restrictions.
Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, called the legislation a “nanny bill” and “feel-good legislation” that would have banned a practice already covered under current laws against reckless driving.
Supporters said the bill is about saving lives. They said parents would be able to tell children that texting while driving is illegal, dangerous and causes accidents.
“It’s such a dangerous activity to be texting while you’re driving, that outlawing it would seem to be a given,” said Sen. Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley.
Phoenix banned texting while driving within its city limits in 2007. Phoenix police Officer Luis Samudio said that about nine citations for texting while driving have been issued since the law went into effect.
“It is minimal,” he said.
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Ashlynn Anderson, 4-year-old daughter of reality TV show star Jesse Browning, was the victim of a fatal dog bite incident February 28, 2010. According to an Associated Press news report, Ashlynn was found by her mother badly injured on their lawn in Astoria. The girl had been attacked by one of the family’s own Rottweilers. Ashlynn was transported to a Portland hospital where she was pronounced dead. This tragic dog attack occurred just four months after animal control officers had taken a Rottweiler from the same home after it bit an adult family member. The two Rottweilers at the home have been quarantined. There is no word on whether any criminal charges will be filed against Ashlynn’s parents in this case.
My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved little Ashlynn for their tragic and devastating loss. I offer my deepest condolences to her family members. Please keep them in your prayers.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to Dogsbite.org, a Web site for dog attack victims nationwide, of the 88 fatal dog attacks in the United States in a three-year period between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, 59 percent or 52 incidents involved pit bulls followed by Rottweilers (14 percent), American bulldog and Husky (5 percent each). This dog bite fatality finding is more or less consistent with an earlier report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which states that pit bulls and Rottweilers together account for 60 percent of fatal dog attacks.
Pit Bulls and Rottweilers
In this particular case, it appears that there was a warning just months before this tragic fatality occurred. One of the Rottweilers had already bitten someone else in the house. It is not clear if that was the same dog that also mauled Ashlynn. This tragic story is yet another example of how dog owners’ love for their pets or animals can put them in a state of denial.
A number of cities and municipalities nationwide are starting to impose more stringent regulations on those who own aggressive breeds of dogs such as pit bulls and Rottweilers. Whatever arguments animal rights activists may present, statistics speak for themselves. Pit bulls and Rottweilers were responsible for nearly three-fourths of all fatal dog attacks in the United States over a three year period (2006-2008). This incident is certainly a wake-up call for all parents who have young children and dogs at home.