Getting an “A” would be great, but you’d like to see at least a “B” or a “C” when you open up your report card. No one wants to see the dreaded “F.” But that’s exactly what Arizona received in a new report card on safety from the National Safety Council (NSC).
Arizona got an “F” for its safety policies, scoring particularly poorly on traffic safety, in a new national ranking of how well states are prepared to deter preventable deaths.
The report by the National Safety Council ranked states for safety on the road, at home and at work and the results do “not paint a very favorable picture of safety in the U.S.,” where 11 states got a grade of “F” and none got an “A.”
Arizona ranked 44th overall, but 48th for road safety, where it was nicked for weak or nonexistent laws on child passengers, seat belts, vulnerable road users and distracted driving.
For a snapshot look at some of the specific grades Arizona received in those three key areas:
- Road Safety,
- Home and Community Safety, and
- Workplace Safety,
click here or on the infographic below.
According to Cronkite News, “Arizona received an ‘F’ on the road safety section, largely because they’re not doing a great job protecting child passengers,” Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the Safety council, said after the release of the report last week. She pointed to a few specific areas that Arizona should consider, adding that the state has “a lot of room for improvement.”
“Arizona can also address vulnerable road users, making sure the pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are better protected, helmet laws for children riding bicycles and an all-rider helmet law for motorcyclists,” she said. “Arizona does not meet the requirements for distracted driving as well.”
Ahwatukee Foothill News added, “While motor vehicle fatalities nationally have risen 14 percent since 2014, Arizona has seen almost a 23 percent increase in the same period. In 2016, the state had 962 motor vehicle fatalities, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.”
The Tucson Sentinel pointed out that our state – “took steps forward this year when legislators approved SB 1080, signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey in April, to address the “national epidemic” of distracted driving by cracking down on teenage drivers using wireless devices.”
Arizona state Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is a longtime proponent of restrictions on distracted driving and he welcome the passage of SB 1080. But he said it is “absurd” to think that the law is enough.
Farley said most Arizonans agree that the state needs a full statewide ban and “there’s no reason we don’t have one.”
“It’s time to end the partisan games because this is not a partisan issue,” Farley said. The driver that kills you “doesn’t care if you’re red or blue.”
Share your thoughts on this latest report card and how we can move Arizona from a failing grade to an “A” or a “B” the next time state safety grades are handed out. Is better legislation the key or are there other ways to boost safety? Working together with our partners to find better ways to keep Arizonans safe is an important part of our long-term plan to one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!