The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has decided to post a weekly numerical update of all Arizona traffic fatalities. The intention is to make the public aware that their actions have “life and death consequences.” Arizona traffic deaths have risen steadily since 2014, and according to ADOT, ninety percent of the problem stems from Arizona drivers. Your selfish choices; speeding, impairment, distracted driving and aggressive driving are making our roads unsafe.
We can agree that these behaviors are unsafe and can lead to crashes. Yet, the Arizona legislature has yet to pass a comprehensive ban on distracted driving.
If distracted driving is such a problem, why are our lawmakers not taking steps to stop it? Many cities and counties, like Tucson, Oro Valley, and Pima County have enacted distracted driving laws already.
If traffic fatalities are rising and distracted driving is partly to blame for the rise in deaths, why are we not doing everything we can to prevent it?
ADOT blames you, the selfish driver for the increase in road fatalities. Is it possible that some of the road deaths are influenced or caused by defective or overcrowded highways? In some cases, the answer is yes.
We’ve handled many defective roadway cases in Arizona. Crossover collisions continue to happen due to a lack of cable median barriers to prevent them. Many parts of I-10, I-17 and I-8 are still only two lanes and are overcrowded.
ADOT is widening two small stretches of I-10 between Tucson and Casa Grande. The projects are long overdue.
What about I-10 between Casa Grande and Phoenix? On April 2nd, ADOT posted on Facebook about the widening on I-10 near Casa Grande. A Facebook user asked, “when will it be three lanes from Casa Grande to Phoenix?” ADOT’s answer: That is a long-term priority for ADOT, but it would require significant funding and an agreement with the Gila River Indian Community.
We hope it is a priority for ADOT because this dangerous stretch of I-10 has seen a large number of fatalities for years.
Unsafe road conditions share the blame for the rise in traffic fatalities.
That’s on you ADOT.