Every year for the past ten years, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety have surveyed the driver safety laws on the books in all fifty states. The Advocates then release a report on what they've found. This year, the 13th Annual report was recently released, and Cronkite News reported that it contained some very bad news for Arizona.
Arizona is one of the most dangerous in the nation when it comes to passing laws intended to make roads less risky. Along with just a few other states, Arizona has fallen "dangerously behind" in regulating the safety of drivers, and, as a result, everyone who drives within the state may be facing unnecessary risks. Our Phoenix, AZ accident lawyers believe that this is a situation that should be corrected and that Arizona lawmakers should step up the safety regulations and pass some laws that are recommended by highway safety experts.
Arizona is Falling Short on Safety
As Cronkite News reported, Arizona was the third worst state in the United States as far as the safety regulations it has passed. Only two states - Mississippi and South Dakota - did worse. The Advocates also assigned the state of Arizona a "Red" rating. States are classified as Green if they have most or all recommended safety laws in place and as Yellow if they've done a lot to improve safety but still have a ways to go. The "Red" rating is reserved for states that have fallen dangerously behind in adopting key driver safety laws.
Some of the different laws that the Advocates looked at included:
- Primary seat belt enforcement laws. Arizona doesn't have one.
- Motorcycle helmet laws requiring helmet use for all drivers. Arizona doesn't have one.
- Booster seat laws. Arizona has one.
- A law imposing a minimum age limit of 16 for learner's permits. Arizona doesn't have one.
- A law imposing a 6-month holding period for new teen drivers. Arizona does have one.
- A law requiring 30-50 hours of supervised drive time for new teen drivers . Arizona doesn't have one.
- Laws imposing night driving restrictions or restrictions on the number of passengers in the car with teen drivers. Arizona is lacking both.
- A law restricting the use of cell phones among teen drivers. Arizona doesn't have one.
- A law imposing a minimum age of 18 for a full driver's license. Arizona doesn't have one.
- A law requiring an ignition interlock device for all DUI offenders. Arizona does have this law.
- A child endangerment law for impaired drivers. Arizona does have this law.
- An open container law. Arizona does have this law.
- A law banning texting for all drivers. Arizona doesn't have this law either.
While some lawmakers are concerned that Arizona has fallen so far behind in passing safety laws, Cronkite News reports that others don't see a problem. The director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, for example, indicated that the law doesn't accurately reflect law enforcement efforts or safety records. Further, the director indicated that many of the laws recommended by the Advocates would not be enforceable.
While it may be difficult to impose and enforce such regulations, it is definitely worth taking steps to try to pass laws that will make Arizona's roads a little safer.
If you've been injured in an accident, contact the Israel Law Group at (888) 900-3667 for a confidential consultation.