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PHOENIX -- A state motorist agency is calling on Arizona to pass stricter driving laws during April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Stephanie Dembowski with Triple-A of Arizona said the Grand Canyon State is one of only a dozen that has not enacted a ban on the use of cell phones and other wireless devices by new drivers.

"It's been proven in states that have these strengthened (graduated driver's license) laws that these laws do save lives," she said. "The research there is showing that they work."

However, some Arizona legislatures are taking up the issue. Several bills are in the works and one, HB 2359, has passed the House but is currently stalled in the Senate.

"Right now in the Legislature, we have HB 2359, which would strengthen Arizona's current graduated driver's license law by banning wireless communication devices among novice drivers,"

In 2011 and 2012, more than 6,600 people were killed in distracted driving crashes, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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