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.


Luke AFB Flyover this Friday

Luke Air Force Base, Arizona will be doing a fly over to  honor Arizona’s front line COVID-19 responders this Friday May 1, 2020.  The flyover will include aircraft from the 56th Fighter Wing and the 944th Fighter Wing, along with the Arizona Air National Guard 161st Air Refueling Wing.

A formation of 15 aircraft, including seven F-35A Lightning IIs and seven F-16 Fighting Falcons flying out of Luke Air Force Base and one KC-135 from the 161st ARW will begin the flyover at approximately 3:10 p.m. MST and will last 50 minutes. DETAILS HERE

Thanks to all of the service men and women of the 56th, 944th and 161st!

ADOT extends raised truck weight limits for delivery of essentials

Eased limits for loads with critical supplies continuing through May

Truck at port of entry

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation has extended higher weight limits for commercial trucks hauling critical supplies and goods that Arizona communities are relying on during the current public health situation.

Coordinating with Governor Ducey, ADOT in early April raised the gross weight limit for commercial vehicles to 90,000 pounds without the need for an overweight permit, up from the normal 80,000 pounds. That temporary measure, set to expire on April 30, has now been extended to the end of May.

“These temporary rules are helping ensure Arizona’s groceries, pharmacies and medical providers remain adequately supplied,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said.

The temporary weight limits apply to commercial vehicles that are providing direct assistance to COVID-19 relief efforts as outlined in a federal emergency declaration issued in March. This includes, among other essential items, medical supplies related to the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, supplies necessary for community safety and preventing the spread of COVID-19, and food and household items for emergency restocking of stores.

ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division officers have implemented the new weight protocol at commercial ports of entry. Commercial vehicles will continue to be required to comply with state and federal regulations, and officers will continue to conduct safety inspections and issue permits as needed.

Ports of entry at state lines and international borders remain open and staffed by ADOT officers and other staff to screen commercial vehicles to ensure the safe flow of commodities and supplies while supporting federal guidelines to keep America’s commerce moving.

For information on other steps ADOT has taken to support Arizonans during the current public health situation, please visit azdot.gov/covid-19-resource-center.

For the latest updates on COVID-19 in Arizona, please visit azhealth.gov/covid19. For resources and information about Arizona’s response to COVID-19, please visit ArizonaTogether.org

Driver License Renewal Extensions Implemented

By Executive Order of Governor Doug Ducey the following extensions are in place:

  • Driver License renewal requirements are extended six months from the expiration date for all Arizona driver licenses and driving permits that expire between March 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020.

    For example, if a driver license expires on March 20, 2020, the new expiration date will be September 20, 2020.

  • Requirements to submit a medical clearance card for a commercial driver license are extended until September 1, 2020.

These deferred dates will be reflected on motor vehicle records for impacted people.

Customers do not need to obtain a duplicate credential. Your current driver license or ID card will be accepted by law enforcement and other government agencies under this Executive Order. If desired, customers may obtain a duplicate driver license or ID on ServiceArizona.com that will show the new expiration date. Duplicate credentials may not be ordered in an MVD office; however Authorized Third Party services may be available.

The extensions are designed for customer convenience and to limit in-person visits to motor vehicle offices.

Arizona Governor Signs Suicide Prevention Training Bill

AZ Family: Arizona Governor Signs Suicide Prevention Training Bill
“Gov. Doug Ducey signed a measure on Wednesday that will expand suicide awareness and prevention training in public schools…”The bill, also known as the Mitch Warnock Act, would require every member of school faculty statewide to undergo training to spot signs of anxiety and depression in teens to prevent suicides.”