If it’s legislative season, it must be time to fiddle with the DUI laws. Again.
Sen. Linda Gray [R – Phoenix], the committee chairwoman and lead sponsor of SB1184, said she wouldn’t stop backing harsher DUI laws until there are no drunken-driving fatalities in Arizona.
— Senate bills propose stiffer DUI penalties, The Arizona Republic, Feb. 15, 2008
I have no problem if the legislature wants to stiffen penalties for DUI.
What I do have a problem with is inaction on the overall problem. As I’ve pointed out before, Arizona suffers from a perenially high traffic fatality rate. DUI is a contributor to the problem, but focusing on that to the exclusion of all else makes no sense. The majority of wrecks do not involve any DUI — two-thirds of fatalities do not involve any drunk driving.
Speeding is the predominant driver error noted in all collision types; fatal, injury and PDO (Property Damage Only). See e.g. Arizona Crash Facts 2005, speeding was listed in about 25% of fatal collisions. The next highest, Failure to Yield, is a distant second at only 10%.
Incredulously, the lawmakers are expending their legislative energy on attempting to prevent the use of speed cameras.
…each of the anti-photo-enforcement measures passed by a party line, 3-2 vote. One measure, Senate Bill 1470, would bar the system on state roads. It’s mirrored by a ballot proposal, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1032, that would be put to Arizona voters in November.
A third measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1033, would require that a traffic study be conducted to determine speeds on any road planned for photo enforcement.
— Voters may have final say on speed cameras in Nov. The Arizona Republic, Feb. 13, 2008
Sen. Robert Blendu (R- Litchfield Park), Ron Gould ( R – Lake Havasu City, and chairman of the Senate Transportation Comittee) have the usual excuses for not liking speed camera — but they don’t have any proposals to address dangerous driving either.