Fearless people are all around us. Handlers of venomous snakes. Rodeo bullfighters. Electrical workers who do repairs from the sky. But there’s one thing that terrifies these brave souls: distracted drivers.
“Distracted driving is terrifying,” Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski said. “Seeing a driver in the car next to you, looking down at their phone while driving and behaving like a drunk driver – swerving and driving too slow or too fast – no one wants to encounter that driver and it has to stop.”
For National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in October, the Arizona Department of Transportation is launching the public awareness campaign “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me.” The campaign features regular people doing jobs most of us find frightening. What’s the only thing that terrifies the venomous snake handler? Distracted drivers, of course.
Campaign information and public service announcement videos can be found at azdot.gov/terrify.
In 2019 in Arizona, at least 10,491 drivers involved in crashes were engaged in distracted driving behavior. However, traffic safety analysts believe this figure is much higher because distracted driving is widely known to be underreported because drivers either don’t admit to being distracted or died in the crash.This awareness campaign aims to influence and change driver behavior, resulting in fewer drivers engaging in terrifying distractions and making roads safer for everyone.
In April 2019, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation(link is external) that banned the use of hand-held mobile devices, like cell phones and tablets, while driving a vehicle. It is illegal for drivers to talk or text on a device not engaged in hands-free mode on all roadways in Arizona.
ADOT will promote “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me” with 30-second video and audio public service announcements that will be broadcast on TV and radio stations as part of the agency’s agreement with the Arizona Broadcasters Association; share the spots on ADOT’s robust social media platforms; and an online outreach effort that includes digital advertising on the web, social media and in-car streaming audio.