9/2/2017 Monday evening ~ 8PM. Police say impairment may be involved. Southern near Hardy. Two motorists died and a third is in critical condition.
Southern is one of Tempe’s series/network of high-speed arterial roads. High speeds are conducive to death. Pedestrians and Bicyclist do often become collateral damage, but motorists are the most frequent victims. Continue reading 2 Dead 1 Critical in Tempe Wreck→
TL;DR? Here’s the bottom line:
Something suspicious is happening in 7 larger cities in Arizona ( ‘Chandler’, ‘Flagstaff’, ‘Glendale’, ‘Gilbert’, ‘Mesa’, ‘Scottsdale’, ‘Tempe’). That’s mostly the largest cities in AZ, excluding Phoenix and Tucson. In these 7 places, reported low-severity bike-MV crashes have decreased dramatically comparing before versus after 2014; suggesting some sort of policy change.
It’s been noted that the number of reported Bike-MV crashes reported by police in Arizona have seen a mysterious sharp decrease; even as the number of MV crashes in general has risen. In round numbers through the 2009-2016 period, Bike-MV crashes have fallen by about a third, while crashes overall have increased by 20%. This time period covers the economic downturn following the Financial Crisis of 2008 and subsequent recovery. That trend has been used to explain the MV crash rate; but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Bike-MV rates; which would logically rise with more traffic and more (MV) traffic crashes.
Fewer crashes would be a good thing of course, but it feel like there’s something else going here. Also, the number of fatalities, while statistically small, remained relatively flat but above their longer-term trend of 24 (rolling 10 yr average 2007-2016; refer to internal spreadsheet \crashReports\asdm\AZstats.xls)
Driver charged with endangerment and 2nd degree murder and in last week’s killing of Peter Rankin who was on the sidewalk. Medical reports say the driver had a BAC of 0.235, almost triple the legal limit (anything over .20 would be “super-extreme” DUI).
[update: 9/28/2017 — driver charged w/ 2nd degree murder]
Impaired drivers remain a serious threat to bicyclists. And pedestrians. And other drivers. And passengers.
9/22/2017 “just after midnight” Bicyclist (60-year-old Peter Rankin) killed incidentally when a suspected impaired, speeding driver (Kevin Richard Hevel, 30) sideswiped another vehicle; jumped the curb onto the sidewalk where he struck and killed the bicyclist, kept going (of course) and continued on to rear-end a Glendale police cruiser. Near 59th and Glendale Ave, in Glendale, AZ. Continue reading PD: Driver hit SUV, killed bicyclist in Glendale before hitting police car→
A driver driving the wrong way on the freeway killed all four occupants of the other vehicle. Police have not revealed why they think driver was driving the wrong way, however, they did note that this year
“…DPS arrested 52 people suspected of driving the wrong way… Ultimately, each of the 52 drivers arrested was found to be impaired”.