Arizona had 86 pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2015. This statistic increased by 12.8 percent for the same time period in 2016, for a total of 97 deaths. These numbers were reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association and can be found on their website (Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State). Meanwhile, in 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released their Traffic Safety Facts for 2015 and reports that there were 153 pedestrian fatalities in Arizona for the full year. The City of Phoenix had 58 fatalities in 2015- more than one-third of the state’s total. Pedestrian deaths account for 17.1 percent of the traffic related deaths in the state.
Statutes regarding the duties of pedestrians are included in Title 28, Chapter 3, Article 10 of Arizona’s Revised Statutes (available here). Control signals at intersections indicate if a person may “walk” or “don’t walk.” If someone is already crossing at an intersection when the signal reads “don’t walk,” they should finish walking to the other side of the road (or, if there is one, to the safety island in the intersection). Once traffic has yielded the right-of-way, a pedestrian may not loiter in the crosswalk (see Arizona Revised Statutes 28-646). A vehicle must stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk if traffic signals are not working or not at the intersection and pedestrians must remain on the curb or some other safe place rather than cause a hazardous situation with a vehicle (see Arizona Revised Statutes 28-792). Pedestrians in a crosswalk should walk on the right side. (see Arizona Revised Statutes 28-795). The right-of-way belongs to vehicles when a person is crossing somewhere other than a designated crosswalk. A pedestrian must also give the right-of-way to vehicles when using an overhead pedestrian crossing or pedestrian tunnel (see Arizona Revised Statutes 28-793). While walking, a person must use the sidewalk, if provided, and if a sidewalk is not provided, then the person should walk outside edge or shoulder of a highway. He or she must face oncoming traffic or walk on the left side of the road (see Arizona Revised Statutes 28-796).
Arizona has a statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Program that includes safety priorities for pedestrians in the state. It reminds people to be aware of the surroundings, to wear bright clothes, to use crosswalks and sidewalks, and to avoid distractions. The Arizona Department of Transportation includes a booklet entitled “Sharing the Road with Pedestrians” on the website that has all the relevant statutes for pedestrians and motorists. With the rise in fatalities in Phoenix, the Governor has recently announced that a task force has been developed to find better ways to enforce traffic laws and reduce pedestrian deaths.