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Arizona earns 'dangerous' rating for highway safety laws

Last week, Arizona once again earned far-from-stellar grades in a national report on traffic safety laws. The report by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety graded each state on their adoption of 15 safety laws that the group considers "key."

Each state was given a green, yellow or red marking in five categories, which covered all 15 laws.

Arizona received two "greens" for the booster-seat law category and the impaired driving law category, which were the best grades. However, the state also received three "red" grades in the 2014 report, which are the lowest.

Arizona earned "red" marks in the graduated driver-licensing program category, the all-driver text messaging program category and the occupant protection category.

This earned the state an overall "dangerous" rating in the report for lacking nine of the 15 key laws. Six of the missed laws dealt with a graduated driver's-license program, which grants driving privileges to teens in phases.

Ten other states also received the dangerous "red" grade, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Iowa.

Not much changed with Arizona's grading since the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety's 2013 report. The vice president of government affairs for the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety called the state's lack of progress "shocking."

One of the laws that the safety group has been pushing for is one banning texting for all drivers. Arizona has not been able to pass such a law, though a state senator said it's time for the state to start focusing on a texting ban.

Hopefully, state lawmakers make better progress with the key safety laws this legislative session so that fewer fatal car accidents will take place on Arizona's roads.

Source: Tucson Sentinel, "Arizona again ranked among lowest states for traffic safety laws," Whitney Ogden, Jan. 23, 2014

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