Arizona

Jan 29, 2013 1:36 PM by Ryan Haarer

Arizona gets 'red light rating' for highway safety laws

TUCSON- A recent study by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety puts Arizona in the bottom six states for highway safety laws. The state legislature has failed to pass those laws session after session giving the state a red light rating.

"Arizona has made some strides in recent years over road safety, with the move over law, graduated drivers license and our most recent the booster seat law," said Valerie Vinyard with AAA Arizona.

But for some it is not enough. The 10th annual study is based on the enforcement of 15 laws focusing on damage control and cost control. Arizona only gets credit for six of the laws.

No state without a primary seat belt enforcement law and a helmet law can earn a green rating. Arizona doesn't have either. Bills proposing such a law have died in the legislature.

"Because we spend so much time on our roads as Americans, I think that it is a vitally important thing to make our roads as safe as possible so we don't endanger ourselves or others," said State Senator Steve Farley.

Farley has been a long time advocate for increased road safety laws and this session is no exception.

"One of the bills is to apply the graduated driver's license for a period of a year after you get the license. Another one is for graduated driver's license holders; there should be no use of the cell phone whatsoever. Whether you are talking or texting," said Farley.

The graduated license bill is a big one for this study. No state meets all requirements for new drivers but Arizona only meets one in seven.

"It's just important that teens realize that the first 1,000 miles of driving, one in five teens are going to get in a car accident. And the reason for that is increased passengers and increased distractions," said Vinyard.

Arizona does get credit for being one of the toughest states against DUI offenders. The state requires an interlock device be installed in a car after just one DUI offense.

Here is a link to the full report:

http://saferoads.org/files/final%20roadmap%20report_0.pdf

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