KGUN 9NewsOperation Safe Roads


Tucson Police see bad behavior raise road risks

TPD stepping up focused enforcement
Posted at 7:45 PM, Jul 03, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — If you’ve noticed drivers are faster, ruder and more distracted, Tucson Police have noticed it too.

We’ve been talking with Tucson Police about how people are driving these days; and maybe they’re talking about you. They say driving behavior is going downhill; so their enforcement is going up.

In just a few minutes on Speedway, we watched officers make three stops. One was for driving 56 in a 35 mile per hour zone. Two others were for driving fifty.

“I just feel the traffic issue is getting more and more out of control every day.”

Drivers like Kristin Rook say it is scary on our streets.

“There's drag racing going on constantly when I'm walking across the street, in the crosswalk with lights saying “walk” people will run you over rather than wait for a minute.”

Whether you drive, bike or walk, you have a stake in safe driving. Tucson Police say rude, careless, distracted driving seems to be more common since the days of the COVID pandemic.

It shows in the stats.

Tucson had 95 traffic deaths last year. Barely halfway through this year Tucson already has 51 traffic deaths.

Tucson Police are increasing enforcement and using data to focus where that enforcement goes.

But a lot depends on you. Traffic Division Commander Lieutenant Lauren Pettey says for starters, wear your seat belt and focus on the road, not on your phone.

“If someone's calling them, pull over, stop your car, park it and answer that phone and try not to be texting while they're driving as well. And also be aware that there's a lot of other things that could be occurring. You could have another distracted driver run a red light in front of you. So be prepared to drive defensively. Be prepared to have someone potentially walk into the roadway not in a crosswalk, not at a traffic control signal.”

And she says Tucson Police are adding an additional traffic detective, and two more officers focused on fighting DUI’s