DPS issued more than 4,000 distracted driving tickets last year

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More than 4,000 tickets were issued in 2015 for distracted driving. (Source: File photo) More than 4,000 tickets were issued in 2015 for distracted driving. (Source: File photo)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Last year the Department of Public Safety handed out 4, 218 tickets to distracted drivers.

"When I'm riding my motorcycle sitting right beside people in their cars, 99 percent of the time they're on their phones," said Bryon Russell. 

"Everybody needs to be plugged in and if there's any moment of not moving, people need to be on their phone checking it," said Kendra Dillon-Johnson.

Distracted driving can have serious consequences.

"I almost got hit today," said bicycle rider Shannon Snyder. 

According to DPS, last year, there were nearly 2,729 crashes in our state that involved distracted driving. In 283 of them, the driver was using their phone; in 326, someone was reaching for something, and in 18, the driver was grooming.

This week, red-light camera company American Traffic Solutions looked at their video of Arizona red-light runners to find out what's causing them to hit the gas instead of the brakes.

"We found nearly 15 percent of those who were captured running a red light were distracted, and 32 percent of those who were distracted were looking at their cell phone," said Charles Territo from ATS. He said it's only getting worse.

"The number of vehicles distracted and running red lights in 2015 increased by nearly 58 percent since 2012," Territo said.

While Arizona is one of two states that don't specifically ban using your phone while driving, many cities do, like Tempe and Tucson. Oro Valley is considering a ban this week.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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