Arizona officials have kicked-off a new distracted driving education campaign that will run through Jan. 2021, reports ABC 15.
The initiative consists of public service announcements and features real-life people who have suffered tragedy and other consequences due to distracted driving.
While it is now illegal to use a cell phone while driving in Arizona, motorists are presently getting just a warning if they are pulled over for the offense. That’s because lawmakers said they wanted “an education period,” according to the report.
Distracted driving has become the No. 1 cause of roadway fatalities in The Grand Canyon State. Some 300 people lose their lives and another 20,000 are injured due to distracted drivers, according to AAA Arizona data.
Nationwide, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,166 people in 2017 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Sending or reading a text takes a motorist’s eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, experts say that's like driving the length of an entire football field with one’s eyes closed.