Of the 15 laws designated by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Arizona only has six in place. This is after a decade of work to make the state a safer place to drive for everyone. For instance, Arizona does not have a primary seat belt enforcement law nor a helmet law, both of which are required for a passing grade from the AHAS.

Arizona has made a few strides forward recently. Legislators found common ground enough to pass a new graduated licensing law. that means young teens now have to pass a few steps before being given an “all-clear” to drive on their own in the state. In states which have had graduated driver’s licensing laws in place the number of teens killed in vehicle crashes has declined dramatically. This has led many driver safety advocates to push for similar laws in every state.

Arizona also has some of the toughest drunk driving laws on the books. For instance they require interlock ignition devices for those convicted of just one driving under the influence offense. In states which have had interlock ignition device requirements for first time DUI offenders, the incidence of repeat DUI offenses by the same person have dramatically declined. Several states already have these in place and several more currently have pending legislation.

Arizona legislators also recently created a new law requiring booster seats for children of a certain height and weight. these booster seats have been shown to adequately protect young (small) children in the event of a collision. The bill passed easily through the state legislature, but only after much heated debate.

Also, Arizona recently passed a requirement that drivers “move over” when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle on the side of the highway. A move is underway in the state to expand the reach of the law to include any service vehicle stopped along the road side with emergency lights activated, and it seems likely to pass.