Distracted driving interest grows

To date there are only 9 municipalities and 2 counties in Arizona that have established a local distracted driving ordinance. Clifton is one of those towns. Each one is to be applauded.

Further, we are hopeful that by bringing together law enforcement and elected officials from Cochise, Graham and Greenlee Counties that we can begin the process of making Southeastern Arizona a safe driving haven.

First, this message is being sent to you as an invitation for August 16 and second as a request for your feedback.
After speaking with Danny Sharp, Chief of Oro Valley PD, and Brendan Lyons, Executive Director- LOOK! Save A Life the following Distracted Driving / Save-A-life Road Show schedule has been tentatively proposed road stops:
Thursday August 16, Benson 9 am –
Thursday August 16, Willcox 11 am (lunch in Willcox)
Thursday August 16, Safford 1:30 pm
And finally, Thursday August 16 Clifton 3:30 pm. Each event will last between 45 minutes to one hour. Specific road show stop locations will be determined by local law enforcement and local officials.

Many forms of distraction

Third, we all recognize and could debate the fact that Distracted Driving encompasses many forms of distraction. Officers in the field report everything from eating and drinking, putting on make-up, using navigation systems, speaking with passengers and of course the use of cell phones to make calls or text.

On Thursday August 16th the Oro Valley Police Department will send 2 members of their “Save-A-Life” team in a patrol vehicle ‘wrapped’ in a distracted drivers safety emblem.

Fourth, the plan is to invite Sheriffs, Chiefs of Police, local elected officials, cycling enthusiasts, and the concerned public to the safety road stops along what we hope will one day be called a Safe Driving Haven. The goal is to educate and hopefully gain support from attendees to help in the process of adopting distracted driving ordinances.

The bottom line? It is all about saving lives. It isn’t just about being more aware of bicycles or motorcycles, it is about reducing the possibility that a distracted driver does no harm to other drivers and users of our highway system.
Why focus on cell phones in this distracted driving program? In October of 2010 the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) prohibited commercial truck drivers from texting while driving. Then in January 2012, the FMCSA banned the use of cell phones by interstate truck drivers, intrastate HAZMAT truck drivers, and bus drivers. But because there is a growing body of evidence regarding the dangers of distracted driving how much longer should we wait to save lives and protect the traveling public?

We believe the time is NOW. This safety road show is designed to heighten awareness and gain support for this Save-A-Life effort. It is also intended to educate the public about these hazards. Gaining public support will help and encourage law enforcement and public electeds to pass safety ordinances.

Fifth, will you please join us? Kindly respond to this email of your availability at any or all of these road stops. If you are unable to attend please select a member of your team to represent your office.

This outreach and invitation will be sent to the Sheriffs of all three counties, members of the respective Board of Supervisors, elected officials such as mayors and council members, SEAGO, ADOT, the general public and local media.

In the coming days we expect to confirm specific locations at each stop, but the target date needs to remain Thursday August 16. We also expect to begin sharing RSVP’s. Even if you are not certain of your commitment to a distracted driving ordinance all we ask is that you attend with an open mind and bring your questions.

In the interim, please advise as to any questions you may have, sample distracted driving ordinances from Oro Valley or Clifton. Other comments or suggestions? We plan to showcase the Oro Valley and Clifton Distracted Driver Ordinances for others to emulate.

Posted in Government, Uncategorized.