The stonewall has broken, and a flood of details that implicate the cyclist as being at fault in the collision have been released in an AZ Republic article published October 13, 2007. Why it took until now, weeks after Mesa police declared there would be no citations issued is baffling. Mesa police spokesman Detective Chris Arvayo could have (and in my opinion, should have) either released these explanations sooner, or simply stated the investigation was ongoing. He either said, or left the impression that the case was closed without saying why. Continue reading Cleapor Fatality — Mesa police stonewall
The City of Phoenix became one of the few (only?), places in the US that specifically bans text messaging. I would be much more happy to see a statewide ban — so to the extent that this is being used as leverage against a recalcitrant legislature I think it is a good thing. Continue reading Phoenix Bans Text Messaging
UPDATE SEP 22,2010: AFN reports that that there was an injury wreck at 32nd and Pecos resulting from a “bad left”. The 17 y.o. EB driver turned left into the path of the WB driver, who was injured “seriously but not life threatening”. Bad lefts were the cause of both a 2003 fatality and a 2007 very serious injuries; both of those were at 40th and Pecos. Continue reading Pecos Death Trap?
This is a rather sensational story. It will be interesting to see how police handle it. Can the white Viper be found? It is a relatively rare model, and of course even fewer of them are white with blue stipes, it doesn’t seem like it should be very difficult to find the car. Continue reading Police seek white Viper
A driver was arrested on suspicion of five counts of manslaughter (see homicide categories) and 3 aggravated assaults. What makes this unusual is the absence of suspicion of DUI. We shall see what the prosecutor does with it. This is a tantalizing comment: “data recorded when the truck’s airbags deployed substantiated detectives’ findings that Myers was driving at ‘an excessive speed,’ “. Data recorder? We (the public) often hear that these sorts of crashes are tragedies but not crimes — because the prosecutor claims that they can’t prove anything. Continue reading Driver arrested in quintuple(!) fatality — excessive speed and red-light-running alledged
John Semmens is an AZDOT project manager who also writes free-market oriented policy papers — he is perhaps best known locally for his vociferous opposition to Phoenix’s light rail. John is now affiliated with the Independent Institute — a free-market-leaning think-tank that I had heretofore not heard of. He had an op-ed published last Saturday in the Wall Street Journal that contained some novel, perhaps radical, ideas about how private auto insurance should be used as a lever against dangerous drivers; he dubs this the “Disneyland model”, and makes some good points. Though, he does not even mention the role of law (criminal) enforcement (as in criminal charges: homicide, assault)… perhaps he was space-limited. Also, his general idea — privatizing licensure — seems sound but how would this help the problems caused by those who simply go without? In any event it is a welcome look at publicizing one facet of the problems created by private automobile usage.
What is the deal with the 39,000 deaths figure? Fatalities have been running around 43,000.
The full text is here: On the Road. September 1, 2007 op-ed, John Semmens, Wall Street Journal
This is the sort of story that runs from time to time. Not front page news, by any stretch — it was buried in the B section. Motorists killing motorists. So much negligence, so little responsibility — maybe a few traffic tickets.
This is juxtaposed over the nationwide media din of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Indeed, the front page today still is crammed with ever more stories of the aftermath. One of today’s lead stories was that the death toll, currently 5 confirmed and 8 still missing, seems miraculously low. Over 42,000 dead in traffic crashes last year — 0 of which were from bridge collapses.
Arizona Leads the Nation [update: also see this entry]
NHTSA released final traffic stats for 2006 on July 23rd: Arizona led the nation in increased number of fatalities, by 109, from 1,179 in 2005 to 1,288 in 2006 (a whopping 9.2% increase). Overall US fatalities decreased by 2%. Continue reading 2006 Fatality Stats – Final
[ U P D A T E : final stats ]
NHTSA’s preliminary Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data for 2006 (a.k.a. highway traffic fatalities):
|motorcyclist||not yet available||4,553|
|pedalcyclist||not yet available||784|
|All other transportation(e.g planes, trains)||2,193|
(Figures released May 25, 2007; updated table with 2005 numbers June 16, 2007)