Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
About 12 years ago, I was riding a 50cc Tomos moped with a top speed of 30 mph on the right shoulder of SR347, between I-10 and the town of Maricopa. At that tine Maricopa was experiencing a huge housing and commercial construction boom, and the traffic on the 4 lane road (2 lanes in each direction) was heavy and the drivers aggressive. It was perfectly legal to ride the moped on the shoulder of a rural road in AZ, bicyclists do it all the time, in fact I had passed a couple of them earlier. Some moron in a Suburban decided traffic was not going fast enough (it was about 65-70) and tried to pass on the right shoulder. He did not see me riding along at 30 mph until it was to late. He ran off the shoulder and into the dirt, but cut it to close, the corner of his front bumper caught my right leg just below the knee from behind, breaking my leg in several places, tearing us muscles and ligaments, etc. I went down hard, and instead of sliding, tumbled until I came to a stop. I had 9 broken bones, a lot of road rash, and severe muscle, tendon, ligament, and cartilage damage.
The broken bones and road rash healed, but I still have issues with the tissue damage, and the doctor says I always will. There were multiple witnesses, and the Sub driver stopped. I collected a $50,000 insurance settlement (policy limits), my insurance from work covered all the medical bills, but I had to be off work for 3 months (2 weeks of it in the hospital) and had to use my sick leave time for that.
I had already noticed that there was absolutely no traffic enforcement on that road, which was under the jurisdiction of no less than 4 different LE agencies, AZ DPS, the only one that responded to the accident, Maricopa county sheriffs office, Maricopa police department, and Gila River Indian reservation police. I sent emails to all 4 agencies and the governors office, the only one I heard back from was DPS, thanking me for my interest. BS.
I now notice the police are all over that road, from one end to the other. They must stop at least 100 vehicles a day.
There are places in AZ where the drivers are not to bad, and there are places it is attempted suicide to go on a scooter, moped, or small motorcycle.
I was recently up in the Payson/Show Low area, in a truck, and encountered heavy snow between Payson and Show Low (about 100 miles) I noticed a lot of people driving way to fast. I also noticed a lot of vehicles that had slammed into guard rails, run off the road into ditches and trees, and a couple of rollovers. For some reason almost everyone in this state is absolutely determined to drive as fast as they can. Some go just a little too far.
And besides cars, several roads were pretty much taken over by crotch rocket riders, riding over 100 mph through curvy mountain roads in large groups. The cops finally got tired of that, and called in enough reinforcements to shut it down. These roads are still heavily populated with cops, and these riders are still getting busted despite all the publicity about it.