The Arizona Department of Public Safety is renewing enforcement of distracted drivers, focusing on violations such as speeding, following another vehicle too closely and failing to use a turn signal when changing lanes.
“Our hope is to reduce crashes and save lives by bringing more awareness of the cause and effect of distracted driving, One of the things we have done over the last year is to better track those violations as a result of distracted driving so we can evaluate those numbers to better guide our enforcement efforts,” a DPS spokesman said.
Distractions noticed include eating while driving and interacting with other passengers and cell phone use, which is more common among younger drivers.
“Millennials…grew up texting and having cell phones, and that is more of a habit for them and a common theme for them to have, so maybe we see that with them in the vehicle and feeling comfortable using some of those devices while driving because they have always had one.”.
Millennials are the most dangerous behind the wheel according to a AAA report. They are 1.6 times more likely to read a text while driving and also twice as likely to send one.
Arizona is only one of two states that do not have a ban on texting while driving. Why? The only state law is a ban on bus drivers who cannot use their cell phones.
Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff have a ban on texting while driving, but it is rarely enforced.
Needless to say, DISTRACTED DRIVING dangerous and it needs to stop. Law enforcement generally can only punish after the incident occurs. Clearly, that is too late.
Everyone, we must all recognize that distracted driving stops with us. So, PUT DOWN YOUR DEVICE, get to your destination safely. Whatever it is, it can wait.