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|ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) aggressive driver program, Operation Chill, is the longest running in the country. Working closely with the Governors Office of Community and Highway Safety, it focuses both on enforcement and a strong media campaign. Unmarked patrol vehicles, motorcycles and marked patrol vehicles are used. Arizona DPS has produced an award winning PSA, 30 Seconds, Is It Worth It?
Arizona is one of three states that has an aggressive driving law that identifies and defines aggressive driving. Arizonas aggressive driving statute 28-695 was added to the Reckless Driving Section and amended the name of the statute to Reckless and Aggressive Driving. The Arizona statute defines aggressive driving as a situation in which a person commits a violation of speeding and at least two other traffic violations (i.e., failure to obey traffic control devices, improper passing, driving off the pavement or traveled portion of the highway, following too close, failure to yield right-of-way, or driving in a way that is an immediate hazard to another person or vehicle).
Arizona is one of the fastest growing states in the country. The city of Phoenix gains 3,000 families a month. Therefore, to look at just crash or fatality rates would not be an accurate measure of effectiveness. One way Arizona DPS has tried to gauge the problem is to watch the newspapers to see if there are articles or editorials about aggressive driving complaints. When citizens complaints about aggressive drivers, the DPS dispatcher relays a description of the vehicle to officers in the area.
Reckless and Aggressive Driving 28-695 was originally enacted in July 1998. The penalty assessed was six points against the drivers license. The legislature amended and changed the law to assess eight points on the driving record and increased the elements necessary to prove aggressive driving.
Lieutenant Gary Zimmerman