The Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community is First Tribe to Adopt No Texting While Driving Ordinance

Native News Online Photo by Levi Rickert


The Young River People’s Council Lead the Way in the Development & Adoption of Important Law

Published April 21, 2016

SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY—On Wednesday April 20, 2016 the Young River People’s Council, a branch of the Office of Congressional and Legislative affairs for the Community government, initiated and passed an ordinance that would prohibit texting while driving on tribal land.

Ms. Dione Dallas, President, Young River People’s Council said, “This is great accomplish to know that we are the first community in Indian country to adopt such an ordinance. I hope other tribal communities will see the importance of this issue. I am proud our elected leaders listened to our concerns in adopting this ordinance.”

Jacob Willeford, a member of the Young River People’s Council, who initiated the development added, “When I was an intern for the Community’s fire department I became more aware of the dangers and the results of when drivers are distracted. Since we are so close to the Phoenix metropolitan area I see many people drive through our community texting and driving. I wanted our people to be safe.”

no textingAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of all drivers 15 to 19 involved in a fatal crash were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash. In 2014, 3,179 were killed and 431,000 due to distracted drivers.

The ordinance prohibits drivers from texting while driving a vehicle in motion on a roadway in the Community. In its implementation the Salt River Police Department will have a 90 day educational period.

The Young River People’s Council is the Community’s youth council and is composed of 14 to 24 year-old enrolled Community members who wish to take a proactive role in government and community leadership. The development of the No Texting While Driving Ordinance began in 2014 and evolved into its final form after extensive Community input.

For more information on this proposal, please contact Angela Willeford at 480-362-6654.

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