Salt River Pima-Maricopa youth push for ban on texting and driving

The Young River People’s Council is composed of 14 to 24 year-old enrolled Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members who want to take a proactive role in government and community leadership. Photo from Facebook

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of Arizona has banned texting while driving and it was tribal youth who led the way.

The Young River People’s Council came up with the ordinance. It prohibits drivers from texting while driving a vehicle in motion on roadways on the reservation.

“This is great accomplish to know that we are the first community in Indian country to adopt such an ordinance," youth council president Dione Dallas said in a press release. "I hope other tribal communities will see the importance of this issue."

Jacob Willeford, a member of the council, is credited with coming up with the idea after serving as an intern in the tribe's fire department. He said he saw first-hand the dangers of distracted driving.

"Since we are so close to the Phoenix metropolitan area I see many people drive through our community texting and driving," Willeford said. "I wanted our people to be safe.”

The tribal police department will conduct a 90-day educational period to inform drivers about the new ordinance, according to the press release.

Join the Conversation