Highway-Safety Group Says Arizona Has a "Dangerous Lack of Basic Safety Laws"
A national highway-safety group says Arizona's road-safety laws are not very good.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says Arizona is one of 11 states with "a dangerous lack of basic safety laws."
Although drivers in Phoenix have been tracked as the safest big-city drivers in America, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety -- which has been around since the late 1980s -- says it's the state laws that aren't very good here.
Specifically, the group outlines "15 optimal lifesaving laws" it pushes for -- Arizona has five such laws in the books: a booster-seat law, a regulation making a six-month "holding period" for teenagers with a learner's permit, an open-container law, a child-endangerment law, and ignition interlocks for DUI offenders.
Then there are the 10 laws Arizona doesn't have: Primary enforcement of seat-belt laws for front and rear passengers (meaning you could be pulled over only for not wearing a seat belt), a universal helmet law for motorcyclists, a ban on text-messaging while driving, and six regulations for teenage drivers, including a ban on all cell phone use and nighttime driving restrictions.
Arizona lawmakers have made recent proposals in regard to the cell-phone regulations for teens, as well as a ban on texting while driving.
We've mentioned before that Senator Steve Farley, a Democrat, claims to be the first lawmaker in any state to propose a ban on texting and driving, which he's been trying to pass for eight years now.
Since then, 41 other states have passed laws banning texting while driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. (In fact, a member of Farley's staff just updated us today on how the senator intends to get the bill passed this time around.)
Of course, not everyone follows the laws. The report cites National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research that found 90 lives could have been saved in Arizona in 2012 had they worn a seat belt, while it suggested that 231 lives were saved in the state by seat-belt use.
The entire Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report can be found here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.