According to AAA, nearly 43 million Americans traveled over the recent Independence Day weekend. 84% of travelers expected to drive to their destination. Arizona is one of seven states to earn a repeated “danger” rating from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS).
AHAS is a nationally recognized organization comprised of consumer, public health, medical and insurance groups. Their mission is the “adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries and contain costs”.
AHAS graded each state, with seven states earning the “danger” rating due to lack of overall recommended safety laws including seat belts, booster seats, motorcycle helmets, texting and driving and graduated licenses for novice drivers. Here is the for Arizona.
A “danger” rating means the state falls behind in the adoption of Advocates’ recommended optimal laws.
In a perfect world, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Arizona legislature would work together creating safe highways and passing recommended safety laws.
The report noted that one Arizona legislator had made repeated attempts to introduce a statewide bill to ban texting and driving. The bill has failed nine times.
However, Pima County and the City of Tucson passed bans on texting and driving. Arizona has strict DUI laws; with DUI patrols and checkpoints set up statewide over holidays.
Ten states earned a “green” rating, for their advanced adoption of recommended safety regulations. Adopting supported legislation could help save lives, reduce the economic toll on state budgets and improve the quality of life for all Arizonans.
The Director of ADOT recently called for road improvements to help preserve and accelerate commerce in Arizona. He advised that “we need to change our driving culture to avoid distractions, be patient and drive sober.”
Excellent points, but we also need safer highways (ADOT) and to have recommended safety laws in place (Arizona legislature).