The city of Phoenix has been identified as having the safest big-city drivers in the United States. The Department of Public Safety has credited the decline in motor vehicle accident deaths that has occurred in Arizona in recent years to the presence of photo-enforced cameras.
Although these cameras may be effective in convincing drivers to obey the rules of the road, Arizona does not have all of the safety regulations that most experts believe the state needs. In fact, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety have described Arizona as one of just 11 states that has a "dangerous lack of basic safety laws."
Arizona's lack of safety regulations not only increases the risk of collisions but can also make it more difficult for victims involved in accidents to obtain compensation for losses. When a driver who causes a collision violates a safety law, this violation creates a presumption of negligence. Without this presumption, the victim must prove the motorist was unreasonably careless in order to make an accident claim. An experienced Phoenix accident attorney can help those who were injured in a collision to prove their case and obtain compensation for losses.
Arizona Lacking in Basic Driver Safety Laws
The state of Arizona ranks #49 out of 50 states on highway safety issues. Only South Dakota does worse, and the population in South Dakota is much lower.
Arizona gets its low rating because the state has only five out of the 15 laws that the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recommend. The recommended laws Arizona has include:
- A booster-seat law.
- A regulation creating a six-month "holding period" for teenagers who have a learner's permit.
- An open container law making it a crime to drive with an open bottle of alcohol in the car.
- A child-endangerment law imposing tougher penalties for traffic crimes that are committed when kids are in the car.
- A law requiring ignition interlock devices be used for drunk driving offenders.
The recommended laws that Arizona does not have include:
- Primary-enforcement seat belt laws for both front and rear passengers. A primary-enforcement law means police can pull a motorist over for not wearing a seat belt even without any other driving infractions. Since the seat belt law is not a primary-enforcement law, a motorist can be ticketed only if he commits another traffic offense and is pulled over while he happens to be unbuckled.
- A law requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets.
- A ban on texting and driving (texting bans have been proposed multiple times by lawmakers but have not passed).
- Six different regulations for teenage drivers including restrictions on driving at night and a ban on all cell phone use while behind the wheel.
Arizona is trying to pass some of these laws, including those related to teen motorists. Until the state takes action, however, Arizona will continue to remain one of the worst locations in the U.S. when it comes to protecting people on the road.
Contact a Phoenix accident attorney at Israel & Gerity after your accident. Call 888-900-3667 to schedule your free consultation.