According to new numbers obtained by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, police in Arizona are handing out more speeding tickets to drivers. Officials with the state believe more aggressive driving is leading to more deadly crashes on the roads.
Over the past two years, the number of criminal speed citations has jumped almost 10 percent. In 2014,15,560 tickets were issued. Last year, 16,815 were issued.
That increase is also reflected in aggressive driving citations. The state saw 388 such tickets issued in 2014, which grew to 528 in 2016.
The stats on deadly accidents in Arizona are troubling as well. In 2014, there were 709 fatal crashes in the state. In 2016, that number rose by 156 to 865.
Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety Alberto Gutier says many people are not following the rules of the road in Arizona.
"The speed limit sign is not a suggestion," said Guiter. "It's an actual law and if everyone would just behave themselves we wouldn't have the number of crashes and injuries and fatalities that occur with these kinds of crashes. What it is, is that everyone seems to be in a hurry."
The Governor's office, Department of Public Safety and Arizona Department of Transportation are all teaming up on the issue. They have targeted various "safety corridors" in the Valley where officers can and will pull drivers over going one mile over the speed limit. One area is the stretch of I-10 from the I-17 stack to SR-51.
Gutier says by having zero tolerance in these areas and cracking down on drivers by issuing more tickets, they hope to get the numbers of deadly crashes down in years to come.