Posted Jan 20, 2022, 9:44 am
Arizona as soon as once more ranked close to the underside of states on a nationwide
report card on freeway security legal guidelines, incomes a “hazard” ranking as a state
with simply 5 of 16 really helpful legal guidelines and no major enforcement for
It was no less than the tenth straight yr that Arizona has ranked close to
the underside of the annual Advocates for Freeway and Auto Security report.
However one state freeway official stated the report
continues to disregard key details about visitors security within the state,
by specializing in legal guidelines on the books as a substitute of Arizona’s aggressive
enforcement of these insurance policies.
“All they love to do is have a look at legal guidelines. Legal guidelines are nice to have, however
enforcement is what makes the legal guidelines work,” stated Alberto Gutier, the
director of the Governor’s Workplace of Freeway Security.
He pointed to new information on the enforcement of the distracted driving
regulation that took impact on Jan. 1, 2021, which permits police to wonderful
motorists who’re caught holding and utilizing their cellular machine whereas
driving. Police handed out about 12,000 citations for distracted driving
in 2021, Gutier stated Tuesday.
That is the nineteenth yr the advocacy group has launched its report, Roadmap of State Freeway Security Legal guidelines.
The newest report, launched Tuesday, charges states by the variety of
freeway security legal guidelines they’ve from an inventory of 16 really helpful insurance policies.
They vary from drunken-driving legal guidelines to motorbike helmet necessities,
from graduated driver’s licenses for teenagers to major enforcement of
seat belt legal guidelines, amongst others.
States within the report are rated from high to backside as inexperienced, yellow or
pink. Arizona was one in all 11 states to complete within the pink class, edging
out solely Wyoming, Missouri and Montana, which had every 4 really helpful
legal guidelines or fewer. Eight states and the District of Columbia had been rated
inexperienced and 31 had been within the yellow class.
Arizona has obtained credit score since 2020 for the distracted driving
regulation, which handed in 2019, though enforcement didn’t start till
final yr. Oro Valley Police Lt. Carmen Trevizo, who participated in
Tuesday’s launch of the security report, stated distracted driving is one
of two main points that usually trigger severe accidents or loss of life on
“Whereas fatalities are the worst-case state of affairs, the consequences of a
severe collision due to one thing as foolish as being in your cellphone
may also devastate any person’s life,” Trevizo stated in an interview after
the discharge of the report.
However Arizona didn’t get credit score for a regulation banning cellphone use by
novice drivers as a result of it solely permits for secondary, not major
enforcement. A major enforcement regulation permits police to cease a automobile
if there’s a suspected violation of the regulation, whereas secondary
enforcement solely applies to infractions which might be found after a
driver has been stopped for a special offense.
Gutier stated secondary legal guidelines shouldn’t be dismissed so simply, utilizing the state’s seat belt legal guidelines for example.
“We’ve between 88 to 90% seat-belt use in Arizona with secondary
regulation,” he stated. “We’ve extra individuals carrying seat belts over the states
with a major regulation.”
Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration information from 2019 stated Arizona had a 90.6% seat belt
utilization, which is increased than 16 states which have a major enforcement
seat belt regulation and 14 states with a secondary enforcement regulation.
Trevizo stated the opposite main visitors challenge is driving below the
affect. Whereas she didn’t have arduous numbers, she stated that
anecdotally she has seen extra collisions involving “polydrug” use,
with marijuana as the commonest drug concerned, since Arizona allowed
leisure use of marijuana final yr.
Once more, Gutier pointed to enforcement, noting that DUI drug arrests rose from 7,123 in 2019 to eight,843 in 2021.
The report doesn’t embrace drug legal guidelines in its ranking, however it does give
Arizona credit score for 3 vital impaired driving legal guidelines, protecting
ignition interlock gadgets, baby endangerment and open alcohol
containers in autos.
Gutier stated Arizona has extra impaired driving
legal guidelines that put the state forward of others, together with the nation’s first
DUI phlebotomy program and an digital search warrant system that
permits officers to get a search warrant inside 10 minutes of requesting
it and draw blood on the scene from drunken driving suspects.
“It’s good to brag about your state when you recognize you’re doing the best factor,” he stated.
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