Driver indicted in texting-killing incident

Scene on SR101 where officer was killed

Jerry Sanstead Jr, the driver in this Jan ’19 incident was finally indicted on manslaughter in Dec 2020. That it takes this long to even bring charges speaks volumes about the sorry state of holding drivers responsible for their actions behind the wheel:

DPS: Driver who killed officer was texting and driving

Waymo releases data on 6 million miles

“In its first report on its autonomous vehicle operations in Phoenix, Arizona, Waymo said that it was involved in 18 crashes and 29 near-miss collisions…” reports the Verge

The 18 refer to actual crashes where actual contact was made was contacted with another vehicle (or potentially if it has been, or bicyclist). There were no injuries.

The 29 near-misses refer to simulated responses of their AV system; which didn’t actually happen, because the human driver intervened. The vast majority of Miles logged were with a human “safety driver” present.

By the way here’s the story of the kook that caused one of the crashes, he was apparently a disgruntled ex-Waymo driver ; it also includes a link to the nut who brandished a gun at a waymo driver, apparently because he was aggreived by the waymo vehicles.

Continue reading “Waymo releases data on 6 million miles”

Oops they did it again?

A dangerous driver failed to negotiate the exit ramp from eastbound I-10 at Warner Road, losing control and killed the signal pole and pedestrian beg button post in August 2017. It was promptly replaced.

It’s down AGAIN in early May 2020; crews were replacing it on 5/14/2020.

Incidentally the signal pole is adjacent to the crosswalk, the drivers also wiped out the pedestrian beg button post — you know, where a pedestrian might be standing?

Continue reading “Oops they did it again?”

Ahwatukee gunbattle

For the Ahwatukee archives: April 2019 high speed chase ending in a five-vehicle  crash and ensuing gunbattle; one federal agent’s truck careened over the curb and crashed through a wall.

Not exactly usual traffic but certainly not all that unusual — drivers jumping curbs, smashing lightposts, walls, killing joggers, etc. on a routine basis.

We see now, a year later, the now dead driver was severely impaired by drugs: “Only later, after an autopsy and toxicology report, was it revealed that she had near-fatal levels of methamphetamine in her body, which could have explained much of her [erratic] driving behavior…’The effect of methamphetamine would be related to increased risk-taking behavior, more aggressive behavior, potentially erratic driving,’ said Stripp, a forensic toxicologist … ‘They may speed, they may run red lights.'”

Continue reading “Ahwatukee gunbattle”

Does Ray Road have a bike lane?

Ray Road near 33rd Street, Phoenix.

Spoiler alert: No. Ray Road, in Phoenix, does not now, nor has it ever had a bike lane. As I wrote in 2003 and again in 2010 Is this a Bike Lane? the answer is a flat ‘No’. Bike lanes must be marked to be a bike lane. (this also applies to portions of Chandler Blvd under discussion). Continue reading “Does Ray Road have a bike lane?”

Tempe City Council candidate hurt after car rolled under school bus in crash

(Photo: Marc Norman)

Green means go, right? Even when there’s something really big, with really bright flashing lights. Yet somehow a driver missed all those cues — “The Jeep’s driver told the responding police officer that he didn’t realize the bus was going to stop at the railroad tracks and kept driving because there was a green light”. Continue reading “Tempe City Council candidate hurt after car rolled under school bus in crash”

Arizona Bicyclist and Ped Crash Map

Volunteer Needed


URGENT: Google has announced the tool used to present the crash maps on Azbikelaw, called “Fusion Tables” is being discontinued Dec 3, 2019.
Azbikelaw is looking for a volunteer familiar with GIS and web-presentation to help effect transition to something else.
That something else would likely need to be free-to-use, either open source or free-commercial. Commercial tools run the cost gamut from prohibitively expensive to free for non-commercial use, which this application would be.
Ideally the replacement would offer all the features of fusion tables; which includes in addition to mapping,  rudimentary filtering; for example find all crashes occurring at night in some particular city where a motorist was turning left in years 2010-2015.

Contact azbikelaw by leaving a comment or email 

Continue reading “Arizona Bicyclist and Ped Crash Map”

Updates and Twitter feed

Message to my loyal azbikelaw readers: Most of the time, I don’t create a new article, but rather add information to a related existing article; for example a new bike lane was added right near my house, and I placed info about it in the article about shoehorning.

SO FROM EARLY 2019 ONWARD PLEASE SEE @azbikelaw ‘s TWITTER FEED FOR UPDATE NOTIFICATIONS. (and note that a twitter account is not necessary, though if you do have an account please “follow” @azbikelaw and you’ll receive notifications via twitter)

E-mail subscribers still receive notifications as usual but only when a new article is posted, not when I add infomation to an existing article.

Another Cardinals exec arrested susp of DUI

This comes about a year after Arizona Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim was arrested and plead guilty to extreme DUI, emphasis added:

“The Chandler Police Department released a report on Wednesday afternoon detailing the traffic stop and arrest of Ron Minegar, the Arizona Cardinals executive vice president and chief operating officer, Saturday night on suspicion of driving under the influence… A 911 caller alerted police about a white Chevrolet Tahoe swerving and possibly speeding up to 60 mph, according to the report.
An officer stopped Minegar around 11:30 p.m. near Pecos Road and Arizona Avenue for speeding, failure to drive within one lane of traffic and driving within the bicycle lane “azcentral 8/14/2019 Continue reading “Another Cardinals exec arrested susp of DUI”

McClintock And Warner Wreck

There is nothing remarkable about this intersection; it is a prototypical arterial-arterial signalized intersection like many others in the Phoenix Metro area — this one is in the City of Tempe. Both streets are high-speed (45mph posted maximum limit); with two through lanes, a bike lane in each direction; in addition each approach the bike lane discontinues ~ 250′ from the intersection where the space flares to become  a dedicated right turn only lane, additionally all approaches have a dedicated right turn only lane. The signal is timed, and there is a demand, leading, left turn arrow on all approaches. Continue reading “McClintock And Warner Wreck”

SUV – Ped Deaths continue to increase

The increased risk posed by SUV (more generally, “Light trucks”) drivers on other road users has been pointed out before, many years ago. See e.g. Lefler 2004, or Paulozzi  2005 for studies published in Accid Anal Prev, and  Inj Prev. Though the harm to peds is notable, it also noted at that time by the IIHS this heightened risk, while decreasing (at that time, the early to mid 2000s) modestly, extends to drivers of other motor vehicles, see IIHS: SUVs Becoming Less Deadly.

Continue reading “SUV – Ped Deaths continue to increase”

lane-splitting is lane-sharing

[UPDATE: Arizona law was modified in 2022 to allow “limited” lane-sharing for motorcyclists, see comment] This is still in quite rough form. Bear with me as I elaborate. The premise is (motorcycle) lane-splitting is related to (bicycle) lane sharing. Lane-splitting is also sometimes referred to as “filtering”.

Lane splitting Legal Misconception

Note that the motorcyclist is NOT driving on the lane line

I was under the impression, what I believe now to be a common misconception, that motorcycle lane-splitting refers to a motorcyclists splitting between two lanes; in other words riding on the dashed line.

There are two related traffic rules, the first is general and applies to all persons driving any vehicle: motorcyclists, motorists driving cars/trucks, and incidentally also to bicyclists. This general rule implicitly makes lane-splitting by riding on the dashed line illegal. Continue reading “lane-splitting is lane-sharing”