First published by ADOT.
PHOENIX – For National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, the Arizona Department of Transportation is doing its part to create a buzz around the dangers of texting and driving.
Building on its “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me” campaign, ADOT has produced a new public service announcement. This one features a beekeeper. This is the fifth 30-second PSA in a campaign that shows Arizonans doing something most people find terrifying.
The “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me” campaign began in the fall, featuring a Phoenix Zoo snake handler, a rodeo bullfighter, a high-rise window washer and a Salt River Project power line tech. What’s the one thing that terrifies these brave men and women? Distracted drivers, of course. The PSAs will continue to be broadcast on more than 100 TV and radio stations around the state, in partnership with the Arizona Broadcasters Association, and shared on ADOT’s social media channels.
Earlier this year, civil penalties for violations of Arizona’s hands-free law went into effect. It is illegal (link is external)for drivers to talk or text on a device not engaged in hands-free mode on all roadways in Arizona. The first violation may result in a fine between $75 and $149 and subsequent violations can be as much as $250, plus applicable surcharges.
Those fines really sting, but they’re a far better outcome than causing a preventable crash. In Arizona in 2019, the most recent with finalized crash data, at least 10,491 drivers involved in crashes were engaged in distracted driving behavior. However, traffic safety stakeholders believe this figure is actually much higher because distracted driving is underreported since drivers often don’t admit to being distracted or died in the crash.
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