Cyclists feel safer on roads with PCSD citing distracted drivers

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some cyclists in Pima County say they feel safer on the roads now that the Pima County Sheriff's Department is actively citing distracted drivers.

One of those cyclists happens to be Tucson City Council Member Steve Kozachik. Like many, he thinks that he lives in an incredible place to ride.

"Biking is a big deal in the city of Tucson," he said.

He rides his bike just about every day. In his mind, this makes the roads safer for everyone -- motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. It's a primary offense in Pima County, meaning deputies can pull a driver over for simply holding their phone while stopped at a red light. He thinks it's time for the City of Tucson to follow suit.

"The city needs to get on board and make it a primary as well," Kozachik said. "So that the police don't have to wait to see you swerving between lanes before they can pull you over and cite you for distracted driving."

As he rides, he consistently sees drivers with their heads bobbing up and down, staring at their phones.

"You see it all the time, people on their phones," he said. "They're just jacking around either texting or calling or with tablets."

Scott Telles is currently teaching his two children how to ride bikes. They are six and eight years old -- eager to get on the road. While he's excited for them, he's also nervous about letting them loose on the city roads. But, with deputies actively citing distracted drivers, he thinks the roads will be safer for his kids.

"Yeah, I think it will," Telles said. "People will be more cautious about what's going on and yeah I absolutely think it will."

But, many drivers are still texting. KGUN9 spent about an hour at a busy East Side intersection to see it first hand -- and many drivers were using their phones.

Because of this, Telles gives his children a warning:

"I tell them that, drivers get distracted and they will be distracted," he said. "You're small, you're not as big as an adult, they may not see you, so you just have to be cautious every time you're on the bike."

He also has a plea for all of the drivers on the road:

"There's things that can wait," Telles said. "Life and death can wait if it's a second or two. So just wait until you get home, it's not a big deal."

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