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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Arizona Traffic School is Educational, But Not Fun!

I recently had the privilege of attending Arizona Traffic School.  I say it was a privilege because by going to the school, my ticket will be dismissed, I will not get any points on my license and my insurance company will not raise my rates (at least not because of my ticket!).  Another bonus, I only paid $135 for Traffic School, which is considerably less than my ticket would have been.  But you can only go to Traffic School every 2 years.

While it was a pretty long and boring day, I actually learned quite a bit (you might even say that I am now a recovering speeder!).  I learned more than just where all the red-light/speed cameras in Mesa are located (there are 13 total, soon to be increased to 43, and there are 4 cameras on Country Club alone!).  I also learned that the Valley is a dangerous place to drive!  In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, three of the top four cities in the nation for red-light running collisions are located in Arizona:

  1. Phoenix
  2. Memphis, TN
  3. Mesa
  4. Tucson

Phoenix has more than twice as many red-light running collisions as #2 Memphis.  That's scary!  Phoenix is also #1 in the nation for fatalities at railroad crossings, perhaps because we have the most dangerous railroad crossing in the entire nation.  It's the one at the 3-way intersection of 19th Ave., McDowell & Grand Avenue.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the five most dangerous intersections in Phoenix are:

  1. 19th Ave. & Indian School Rd.
  2. 7th St. & McDowell Rd.
  3. 19th Ave. & Camelback Rd.
  4. 51st Ave. & Thomas Rd.
  5. 67th Ave. & Indian School Rd.

According to ADOT, the five most dangerous intersections in Mesa are:

  1. Country Club Dr. & Southern Ave.
  2. Gilbert Rd. & University Dr.
  3. Broadway & Mesa Dr.
  4. Broadway & Dobson
  5. US60 & Val Vista

One of the other scary statistics I learned is that an estimated 46% of Arizona drivers do not carry insurance.  It's probably even higher.  That's basically one out of every two cars on the road.  You don't want to get hit by someone without insurance, but you don't want to get hit by someone with insurance either.  Even those who carry the Arizona required minimum insurance only have $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident in coverage, plus $10,000 in property damage coverage.  Although $10,000 will not replace most cars on the road, that's what Arizona law requires.  And $15,000 won't pay very many medical bills either.  In a bad accident, $15,000 might buy you a ride to the hospital and one day in intensive care.  So if you have assets or even if you don't, be sure you have insurance coverage for uninsured and under-insured motorists.

The other really sobering fact I learned is that 4 out of 5 child safety seats are incorrectly installed.  That's a bunch of kids that are not properly protected for no good reason.  Fire Departments have free classes and will usually even have somebody to help you check your car seat.  Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert & Scottsdale Fire Departments all have full time people to help.  If you cannot afford a car seat, the Fire Department will help you get one so there is no excuse.  Arizona requires children under 5 years old to be in a 5-point harness (I think there might be an exception if your child is over a certain weight, but I'm not sure).  There is also a new phone # you can call either to get a car seat, or to report someone else for driving around without their kid in a car seat.  The number is 1-800-505-BABY.

If you live or drive in Tempe, you should be aware that people are getting speeding tickets in school zones at night.  Yes, the speed limit signs in those school zones apparently read "when school is in session" instead of giving specific hours for lower speeds like many cities do.  So even night school counts.

Here's something else pretty crazy.  When you come from another state, you don't even have to take a test to get an Arizona drivers license anymore.  And your Arizona license will be good until your 65th birthday!  Of course, you will have to go get a new picture and (I think) an eye test every 12 years!

Here's the moral of the story (you knew there had to be one!).  All of us, myself included, can make the roads a safer place with a little effort.  We just need to slow down, stop at red lights and pay a little more attention to driving, and a little less attention to our cell phones!

Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard

Great American Realty, Inc.

Cell: (480) 695-6672
Email me

Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on March 5, 2006 | Permalink


It sounds good that the classes are more of education but a little fun would make it more interesting, I suppose.


Posted by: Traffic School | Feb 2, 2009 1:59:37 AM

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» Mesa Adds Several New Traffic Cameras from BlogArizona.com - An Arizona Real Estate Blog
The City of Mesa is adding several new traffic cameras in an effort to catch red-light runners. The total number of red-light cameras will increase from from 13 to 30. Here are all 30 Mesa locations that will have red-light [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 18, 2006 9:25:05 AM


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