Arizona Ranked 49th in the Country When it Comes to Highway Safety

The group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety has given Arizona highways a new, um, honor as one of the least safe highway systems in the country.

In its latest rankings, the AHSF ranks Arizona 49th in the country when it comes to highway safety based on several different criteria.

AHSF looked at 15 different recommended highway safety laws and Arizona only adheres to 4.5 of them.

According to the group, Arizona is lacking a primary seat belt law, six out of seven teen driving provisions, mandatory blood-alcohol testing for drivers who survive a crash in which there was a fatality, and the booster seat law.

The only state worse than Arizona -- according to the rankings -- is South Dakota. However, there are only about 800,000 people in South Dakota so the odds of running into someone on the highway -- where these laws would apply -- are a bit lower than they are here in Arizona -- Phoenix in particular, which is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the entire country.

Is not having these laws in place a problem for Arizonans? Don't be silly, we've got speed cameras.

Just last week the Department of Public Safety announced that 2009 saw the fewest fatal highway wrecks in Arizona since 1995. DPS officials we've spoken with have credited some -- not all -- of the decline to the presence of photo enforcement cameras.

Frankly, we'd take all the traffic laws the AHSF has to offer if it meant we never had to see the flash of a photo radar camera ever again.

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James King
Contact: James King