Hot weather means more “gators” showing up on Arizona’s highways

First published by ADOT

Since June 27-July 3 is “National Tire Safety Awareness Week(link is external),” an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), we thought ADOT could offer up some safety advice related to keeping an eye out for what many of us see out along our Arizona highways: pieces of tire debris.

Those shreds of treads have gained the nickname “gators” over the decades because many of them look like an alligator’s back floating on the water’s surface. While alligators are primarily limited to zoos in the Grand Canyon State, there are plenty of “gators” waiting for unsuspecting, or for that matter even suspecting, drivers along the state’s network of highways.

ADOT gets plenty of help from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and its troopers in responding to tire treads and also reminding drivers to stay alert to tire pieces and other debris that can wind up on highways. And without a doubt, there are things all of us as motorists can do to help reduce the risk of tire blowouts and the creation of Arizona gators.

Obviously, hotter summer weather can lead to more tire failures and debris, but it’s a year-round challenge. AZDPS troopers are kept busy tossing tire gators to a highway’s shoulder, possibly as they’re conducting traffic breaks (temporary stops of traffic) in order to clear debris.

ADOT’s team of Incident Response Unit, sponsored by State Farm, members and maintenance crews also respond to calls about debris. However, it’s impossible to catch everything immediately along more than 6,500 miles of state highways.

“We’re obviously very familiar with gators,” said Raul Amavisca, ADOT’s Central District engineering administrator. “We need all drivers to pay attention, keep their eyes on the road and be prepared for debris at any time. If you do that, you’ll increase your chances of being able to maneuver and avoid a tire tread and the damage it can cause.”

tire safety graphic

ADOT crews do spot pickups of roadside shoulder debris along busy Phoenix-area freeways throughout the year. The agency’s freeway shoulder sweeping contractors also maintain weekly schedules for collecting larger debris items along those shoulders in advance of their overnight street sweeping work.

As for things you can do about your own vehicle’s tires, here is some information from a USTMA news release about this year’s National Tire Safety Week: “U.S. tire manufacturers recommend drivers check tire pressure at least monthly, regularly check tire tread depth and ensure vehicle tires are rotated and properly aligned. Proper maintenance and periodic inspections by a tire professional are essential for optimum performance and service life of tires and can help ensure lower overall inspection impacts.

USTMA also offers the following safety advice: “To help motorists remember these important tire maintenance actions, USTMA encourages drivers to remember the acronym “P.A.R.T.” – Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread. Tire safety essentials are especially important this year as significant numbers of motorists are back in their cars embarking on summer road trips.”

ADOT echoes the summer road trip safety recommendation, especially as we look ahead to the Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends. Plan ahead, pack an emergency prep kit, check your vehicle for things such as tire pressure and condition. Don’t forget extra drinking water and other items that can help if an unscheduled stop in traffic occurs. Expect the unexpected, even if that includes a “gator.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

OSHA is extending the comment period on Arizona’s occupational safety and health program

First published by OSHA

OSHA is extending Arizona's occupational

Photo: OSHA

OSHA is extending the public comment period to July 5 on the agency’s proposed reconsideration and revocation of Arizona’s State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health. July 5 is also the new deadline for submitting written testimony or a notice of intention to appear at the public hearing on this issue tentatively scheduled for August 16. OSHA extending Arizona’s occupational

State Plans are OSHA-approved workplace safety and health programs operated by individual states or U.S. territories. State Plans are monitored by OSHA and must be at least as effective as OSHA in protecting workers and in preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.


OSHA amplía hasta el 5 de julio el periodo de comentarios públicos sobre la propuesta de reconsideración y revocación del Plan Estatal de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo de Arizona. El 5 de julio es también la nueva fecha límite para presentar testimonios por escrito o un aviso de intención de presentarse en la audiencia pública sobre esta cuestión, prevista en principio para el 16 de agosto.

Los planes estatales son programas de seguridad y salud en el lugar de trabajo aprobados por OSHA y gestionados por estados o territorios de Estados Unidos. Los planes estatales son supervisados por OSHA y deben ser al menos tan eficaces como OSHA en la protección de los trabajadores y en la prevención de lesiones, enfermedades y muertes relacionadas con el trabajo.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

US Department of Labor announces proposal to reconsider, revoke final approval of Arizona’s State OSHA Plan after pattern of failures

First published by OSHA

Concerns about state’s commitment to worker safety, health led to federal action

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a proposal to reconsider and revoke the final approval of Arizona’s State OSHA plan, in response to nearly a decade-long pattern of failures to adopt and enforce standards and enforcement policies at least as effective as those used by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

State plans are OSHA-approved job safety and health programs operated by individual states rather than federal OSHA. The OSH Act encourages states to develop and operate their programs. OSHA approves and monitors all state plans, and provides up to 50 percent of each program’s funding.

OSHA has grown increasingly concerned that actions by the Arizona State OSHA Plan suggest the state is either unable or unwilling to maintain its commitment to provide a program for worker safety and health protection as the OSH Act requires. Arizona has, for example, failed to adopt adequate maximum penalty levels, occupational safety and health standards, National Emphasis Programs and – most recently – the COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard.

If OSHA determines that a state plan is failing to comply with its obligation to remain at least as effective as OSHA, the agency may initiate proceedings to revoke final approval, and reinstate federal concurrent authority over occupational safety and health issues covered by the state plan.

The proposal is available for public inspection at the Federal Register, and will be published on April 21. With its publication, OSHA marks the start of the revocation process. The notice makes no substantive changes to the Arizona State Plan, nor does it give federal OSHA the authority to enforce occupational safety and health standards in Arizona.

Submit comments on the proposal by May 26, 2022. If necessary, OSHA will hold an online hearing on Aug. 16, 2022 at 10 a.m. EDT. Those interested in testifying or questioning witnesses must submit a notice of their intention by May 11, 2022.

Once OSHA has considered comments during the 35-day comment period, and reviewed testimony and evidence collected in the event of a hearing, the agency will publish a second Federal Register notice announcing its decision on revocation of final approval.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Arizonans are first in the nation to add driver licenses to Apple Wallet

First published by ADOT

ADOT MVD gives Arizona residents ability to add IDs to Apple Wallet and present their identity at TSA airport security checkpoints

The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division embraces the motto, “Out of the line and safely on the road.” This is a nod to MVD’s commitment to putting Arizonans first by reducing in-office wait times and offering customers a growing number of digital options.

Today, ADOT MVD is aiming higher – literally – and that motto could easily be revised to “out of the line and safely in the sky.”

That’s because Arizona is the first state in the nation whose residents, beginning today, can add their MVD-issued driver license or state ID card to Apple Wallet on an iPhone or Apple Watch and securely present it as a valid ID at select TSA airport security checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

“With this technology, Arizonans are at the front of the line for experiencing a streamlined airport security process,” Governor Doug Ducey said. “This puts our state at the leading edge of a new technology that offers choice, convenience, privacy and security.”

After adding a driver license or state ID to Apple Wallet, upon arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, travelers can use Apple Wallet to present their ID at designated TSA airport security checkpoints.

“Arizona is proud to be the first state to give our residents the choice to add their ID to Apple Wallet,” Arizona MVD Director Eric Jorgensen said. “We will continue to seek out opportunities for products and services that provide Arizonans security, privacy and ease of use.”

At this time, an Arizona driver license or state ID in Apple Wallet can be used to present a resident’s ID only at select TSA airport security checkpoints. This is a new technology and its use case will grow over time. Arizona residents should continue to carry their physical, plastic driver license or state ID card to use in other situations, including with law enforcement.

For more information on Arizona driver licenses and state IDs in Apple Wallet, please

visit azdot.gov/AppleWallet and https://apple.co/wallet-id

How to add a driver license or state ID to Apple Wallet

Adding a driver license or state ID to Apple Wallet can be done in just a few simple steps. Arizona residents can tap the + button at the top of the screen in Apple Wallet on their iPhone, select “Driver’s License or State ID” and follow the on-screen instructions to start the set-up and verification process. You will need your physical MVD-issued driver license or ID card to add it to Apple Wallet.

Driver’s license and state ID in Apple Wallet is available on iPhone 8 or later running iOS 15.4, and Apple Watch Series 4 or later running watchOS 8.4 or later.

How to use your Arizona ID in Apple Wallet at the airport

Arizona residents can present their driver license or state ID at participating TSA airport security checkpoints by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at the identity reader. Upon tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch, customers will see a prompt on their device displaying which specific information is being requested by the TSA. Only after authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID is the requested identity information released from their device. Information is all shared digitally, so residents do not need to show or hand over their device to present their ID.

Your Arizona driver license or state ID in Apple Wallet is secure

State IDs and driver licenses in Wallet are private and secure. If a resident loses their iPhone or Apple Watch, they can use the “Find My” app to easily lock their device and help locate it, or remotely erase their device.

Identity data is encrypted and protected against tampering and theft. The MVD and Apple do not know when or where residents present their IDs. Biometric authentication using Face ID and Touch ID ensures that only the person who added the ID to the device can view or present their ID or license in Apple Wallet.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

New Mine Inspector

First published by Office of the Governor Doug Ducey

Governor Ducey Announces Paul Marsh As Arizona State Mine Inspector

Marsh Will Succeed Inspector Joe Hart, One Of The Longest-Serving Leaders In Governor Ducey’s Administration

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Paul Marsh to serve as Arizona State Mine Inspector upon Joe Hart’s retirement from Arizona state service.

“Paul Marsh has over 25 years of industry experience and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the position,” said Governor Ducey. “He is a proven leader with strong communication skills and a history of working with safety standards and regulations. I’m confident his experience has given him all the tools needed to fill Inspector Joe Hart’s big shoes. Joe has been a stalwart of state government, serving in the Arizona Legislature for a decade before his election as Mine Inspector in 2006. He’s played an important role in overseeing the safety and regulations of Arizona’s mines — and I thank him for his many years of service.”

Inspector Hart is a fourth generation Arizonan and lifelong resident of Kingman, where the mining of gold, silver, copper and turquoise goes back decades. In his four statewide elections, he has always been one of Arizona’s top vote getters. While in the Arizona House of Representatives, he served as speaker pro-tem and Chairman of several committees. Prior to serving in the Legislature, Hart spent 20 years at Duval Mining Company, where he worked as a safety inspector.

The position of State Mine Inspector dates back to the Arizona Constitution of 1912, the year Arizona became a state. Arizona is the only state that elects a Mine Inspector.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve all Arizonans as the State Mine Inspector,” Marsh said. “Inspector Hart has been critical in protecting both the public and miners by providing top-notch safety training. I look forward to the opportunity to continue protecting both the public and the miners that call Arizona home.”

Marsh has served as the Ready Mix Operations Manager in the Phoenix Division for CalPortland Company since February 2018. He previously served as CalPortland’s Director of Safety for the Southwest Region from March 2011 to February 2018.

While serving as Director of Safety for the Southwest Region at CalPortland, Marsh was responsible for the health and safety at 25 locations within Arizona and Southern California. He maintained relationships with managers, supervisors and employees to ensure compliance with all company, local, state and federal safety and health regulations. Marsh also oversaw two safety managers ensuring compliance with Mine Safety and Health Administration, Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Department of Transportation standards for operation.

Marsh is active in both industry and community organizations, including previously serving as the chair of the Community Relations Committee and the Safety Committee at the Arizona Rock Products Association, and as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from June 1990 to June 1997. In 2015, he was awarded both the Arizona State Mine Inspector’s Office Safety Professional of the Year Award and the Arizona Mining Associations Copper Pot Award. Marsh was born and raised in the Phoenix area. Aside from military service, he has always resided in the Phoenix area.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Three states at risk of losing OSHA State Plan status over COVID-19 rules: reports

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

See the source image Image result for arizona flag map  See the source image

Washington — OSHA has warned Arizona, South Carolina and Utah to adopt their own version of the agency’s emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 for health care workers or face possible revocation of their State Plan status, according to multiple reports.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 permits OSHA to grant approval to states that want to manage their own workplace safety and health program. One stipulation for approval, however, is that the states’ safety standards are “at least as effective” as federal standards. State standards can be stricter than federal OSHA’s standards but not weaker.

OSHA issued the ETS in June, and most of OSHA’s State Plans, along with Puerto Rico, have followed suit. Under the ETS, State Plan programs were to have adopted the rules by July 21. Arizona, South Carolina and Utah have not met the deadline. OSHA reportedly has sent “courtesy letters” to notify the states of the agency’s intent to begin the revocation process and place them back under federal jurisdiction.

The next step is publication, in the Federal Register, of OSHA’s proposed revocation of State Plan status (for each state) followed by a 35-day comment period, according to a document posted on former OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab’s website, Confined Space.

Barab writes that the agency’s action is “a shot across the bow of any state that is considering not adopting the forthcoming OSHA ETS” on COVID-19 vaccination/testing. That ETS will apply to employers with at least 100 workers to ensure full vaccination or weekly negative testing of their workforce. It is undergoing a required review by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

“This is clearly a preemptive strike by the federal government,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) posted on his Twitter account. “With no state regulators in the way, the federal Labor Department will be free to penalize employers who do not comply with President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate.”

In a follow-up post, McMaster notes that he has instructed the director of the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation “to begin immediate preparations for a vigorous and lengthy legal fight.”

In an Oct. 19 press release, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) indicates that he, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) sent a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on July 21 to address their concerns about the health care-related ETS.

“States do not have regulatory authority to require employers to pay their employees sick leave,” Cox says in the release.

In a separate Oct. 19 release, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) called OSHA’s warning “nothing short of a political stunt” and a “desperate power grab.”

Ducey says the Industrial Commission of Arizona is “actively engaged in a public input process” on a state ETS on COVID-19 and vows to fight any revocation of its State Plan status. In 2017, Arizona and OSHA tussled over ICA’s reclassification of violations and reduction in penalties for certain employers.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Traffic Fatalities

Arizona sees 1,057 traffic fatalities despite sharp decline in total crashes in 2020
Fatalities rose to 12-year high despite fewer motorists on roads during pandemic

Crash data graphicPHOENIX – With noticeable reductions in traffic volume during parts of 2020 due to the pandemic, the total number of crashes on all Arizona roadways fell sharply. Despite that, the number of traffic fatalities rose to their highest levels in 12 years, according to the most recent Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report published Thursday, July 29.

The number of those killed in traffic collisions rose from 980 in 2019 to 1,057 in 2020, while the total number of traffic crashes came in under 100,000 for the first time since 1993. The report also shows that Arizonans traveled an estimated nearly 5 billion fewer miles in 2020 – a 7% decrease from 2019.

The Arizona Department of Transportation produces the annual Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report, which is a compilation of traffic crash reports provided by law enforcement agencies around the state. The report reflects crash data for all Arizona roadways, including city streets, county roads, reservation roads and state highways.

The 2020 report shows a decline across all categories in terms of number of crashes and injuries as one might expect from a year where travel was reduced and remote working and learning increased. However, the majority of the categories that track fatalities showed an increase, including deaths from speed-related crashes and lane-departure crashes and deaths from those not wearing seatbelts.

The rise in traffic fatalities last year illustrates that real change must begin in the driver’s seat as driver behavior is a major factor in traffic collisions.

Reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries can’t be solved by state agencies alone because more than two-thirds of crashes occur on roads other than state highways.

Two categories that saw fewer fatalities in 2020 than 2019 were alcohol-related and motorcycle-related crashes. Alcohol-related fatalities continued the trend over the last few years, declining to 181 deaths in 2020 compared to 258 in 2019 – a 30% decrease. Alcohol-related fatalities decreased by 21% from 2017 to 2019. Motorcycle-related fatalities saw a decrease from 170 deaths in 2019 to 160 in 2020.

The 2020 Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report is available at azdot.gov/CrashFacts.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Governor Ducey Rescinds 25 Pandemic-Related Executive Orders

First published by Arizona Trucking Association

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today is rescinding 25 Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic following action by the Arizona Legislature to codify into law many of the policies enacted by the Executive Orders to protect against excessive mandates, including mask usage in schools and prohibiting vaccine passports.

“Throughout the pandemic, we took action to protect Arizonans and their individual freedoms, like banning vaccine passports and protecting access to state universities,” said Governor Ducey. “Working with our Legislature, we’ve enacted these reforms into law. I want to thank Speaker Bowers, President Fann and all our legislators for their partnership in putting good policy into place on a permanent basis.”

Effective July 1, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded:

  • Executive Order 2020-17 deferred requirements to renew state agency and board licenses that had an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020 by six months from the expiration date, unless those requirements could be completed online. The timeframe for the deferrals lapsed on March 1, 2021.
  • Executive Order 2020-28 was enacted to address critical demand for nursing home and long-term care facility staff, allowing caregiver trainees to utilize on-the-job training to meet a certification program. This policy was codified through legislation in 2020.
  • Executive Order 2020-58 ensured cost-sharing requirements, such as co-pays and co-insurance, for the COVID-19 vaccine are waived. This policy was codified by congress through the CARES Act.
  • Executive Order 2021-04 required schools to return to in-person, teacher-led instruction by March 15, 2020. In-person, teacher led instruction will continue to be required beyond the March 15, 2020 deadline.

Effective July 9, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded:

  • Executive Orders 2020-08 & 2020-53 extended standard driver licenses that originally expired between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, in an effort to limit visits to the state Motor Vehicle division. An expiration deferral issued as a result of this order remains valid and in effect.
  • Executive Order 2020-20 allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of maintenance medications for up to 180 days, minimizing unnecessary trips to the doctor. With legislation expanding availability of telemedicine, obtaining refills is now more accessible.
  • Executive Order 2020-25 allowed struggling Arizona restaurants to repackage and sell grocery items they had on hand, including items not normally packaged and labeled for resale. Arizona restaurants can now fully resume operations.

Effective September 29, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded upon enactment of legislation to codify the policies:

  • Executive Order 2020-12 was a proactive and administrative measure to ensure consistent mitigation guidance across the state, and prohibited any county, city or town to issue an order, rule or regulation that restricts or prohibits any essential service.
  • Executive Order 2021-05 lifted occupancy limits that were implemented due to COVID-19.
  • Executive Order 2021-06 transitioned COVID-19 mitigation requirements for businesses to recommendations.
  • Executive Order 2021-09 banned “vaccine passports” and prevented state and local governments from requiring Arizonans to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status to receive service or enter an area.
  • Executive Order 2021-10 rescinded orders related to K-12 health guidance.
  • Executive Order 2021-15 ensured students of public higher education institutions cannot be mandated to take the COVID-19 vaccine or submit COVID-19 vaccination documents, and prohibited mandatory testing and mask usage for students.

The following will be repealed on a date determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services:

  • Executive Orders 2020-13, 2020-23, 2020-30, 2020-37, 2020-48, 2020-54,  2020-56, 2020-57, 2021-01, 2021-07, 2021-14, identified as Enhanced Surveillance Advisory Orders. The State Legislature provided authority to the Arizona Department of Health Services to continue requiring hospitals, testing laboratories and other health facilities to provide detailed information and data related to COVID-19.

The Governor’s emergency declaration issued on March 11, 2020 remains in place.

View the Governor’s action to rescind the Executive Orders HERE.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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.

For more information on ADOT’s “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me” awareness campaign, visit azdot.gov/terrify.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Traffic fatalities in Arizona reached a 3-year low in 2019

Crashes involving distracted drivers fall 11.8%

PHOENIX – Traffic crash fatalities on Arizona roadways in 2019 fell to their lowest total in three years, according to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report published Tuesday, June 30.

Total traffic crash fatalities was one of several key measurements that decreased in 2019 from 2018. The 2019 report also tallied fewer pedestrian fatalities, alcohol-related fatalities, fatalities of those not wearing seat belts and distracted drivers involved in crashes compared to the previous year.

The Arizona Department of Transportation produces the annual Motor Vehicle Crash Facts Report, which is a compilation of traffic crash reports provided by law enforcement agencies around the state. The report reflects crash data for all Arizona roadways, including city streets, county roads, reservation roads and state highways.

While the total number of fatalities decreased, the total number of crashes in Arizona rose by 1.6% from 2018 to 2019. In the same timespan, Arizona saw the total number of licensed drivers increase by 1.3% to 5.38 million.

Reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries can’t be solved by state agencies alone because 68% of crashes occur on roads other than state highways. In fact, real change must begin in the driver’s seat because driver behavior is a factor in more than 90% of collisions. Some of those behaviors saw better results in 2019 than recent years, but there are still too many preventable crashes, fatalities and injuries occurring on Arizona’s roads.

The report shows that at least 10,491 drivers involved in collisions during 2019 engaged in “distracted driving behavior.” This is an 11.8% decrease from 2018, when the figure was 11,898. In April 2019, when Governor Doug Ducey signed HB 2318, it became illegal for drivers to talk or text on a cellphone while driving unless the device is in a hands-free mode.

Arizona continues to see fewer deaths related to drinking and driving and not wearing seat belts. Alcohol-related fatalities decreased for the third straight year, falling 21% since 2017, and the 256 fatalities in 2019 is the lowest total since 2010. The number of people killed not wearing seat belts fell for the fifth year in a row – from 258 in 2015 to 211 in 2019 – but unbuckled occupants still account for about a fifth of all traffic fatalities.

Pedestrian fatalities fell to their lowest total since 2016, with 220 in 2019. Most pedestrian fatalities occur on surface streets in urban areas, and pedestrians should cross streets only at marked crosswalks where drivers expect to see them.

Crashes involving bicyclists and motorcycles continued a years-long downward trend. The 1,275 total crashes involving bicyclists in 2019 are the fewest since at least 1991 – crashes involving bikes peaked in 2012 with 2,146. Crashes involving motorcycles declined for the third straight year and reached their lowest total (2,676) since 2004. Yet, despite the decrease in crashes for these categories, each saw a year-over-year increase in bicyclists and motorcycle operators and passengers killed in vehicle collisions.

The full 2019 Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report is available at azdot.gov/CrashFacts.