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You Can Help Prevent Wildfires Along Highways

Tips Include: Don’t Drag Chains While Towing or Park in Tall Grass

Like a lot of Arizona these days, the hillsides along State Route 87 south of Payson look mighty green after a wet winter. But that didn’t stop a brush fire from breaking out last week after a vehicle dragging chains threw sparks off the roadway, backing up traffic as first responders addressed the blaze.

When warmer temperatures turn all that ground cover brown, there will be even more reason for precautions to prevent brush fires along highways.

“Everyone can help prevent fires,” said Jesse Gutierrez, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s deputy state engineer for statewide operations. “That starts with making sure your tires are properly inflated, being careful not to park over tall grasses and ensuring that chains aren’t dragging.”

During the winter and spring, ADOT crews mow vegetation along highway shoulders. Crews also remove brush, thin trees and spray fire retardant within the ADOT right-of-way to prevent fires and slow the spread of those that occur. But motorists have an important role as well:

1. Don’t park in tall grass, as the heat from parts under your vehicle can start a fire.

2. Make sure nothing is hanging from underneath your vehicle and dragging on the pavement.       

3. Dragging chains during towing can cause sparks. Never substitute parts when towing.

4. Check tire pressure before you travel. Exposed wheel rims can cause sparks.

ADOT participates in the “One Less Spark One Less Wildfire” campaign that the U.S. Forest Service and other land management agencies launched to focus on the role drivers and homeowners play in preventing wildfires.

Richard Bauer, Pioneer of Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Department Third Party Program, Remembered

It is with great sadness that we share the news of our friend Richard Bauer suddenly passing away on February 2, 2017.

Richard was the CEO for One Stop Auto Loans MVD Services, a respectable company in the MVD third party program.

Richard’s tireless contribution to the MVPA as a member and also serving on the Board of Directors since its inception in 2010, was instrumental in the progress that the MVPA has enjoyed .

Richard’s professionalism, foresight and his unbiased fairness always kept every member of the association in mind.

Richards kind smile, friendly manner and incredible thoughtfulness will be deeply missed.

We’ve asked Richards family to keep us informed when memorial services will he held and if any donations are requested.  We will pass that information along as we receive it.

God speed Richard.

Services Provided by 3rd Party Motor Vehicle Departments

An Arizona Authorized Motor Vehicle Third Party Provider is a private company contracted and authorized by the State of Arizona to process most MVD transactions.

Employees of an Authorized Third Party Provider must complete training courses and have a criminal background check, and are subject to the monitoring of performance. Compliance auditors monitor work for adherence to policies, rules and statutes.

Under contract by the Arizona Department of Transportation, Authorized Third Party MVD’s are able to issue driver licenses, title registrations and other motor vehicle services. These locations are often open for extended hours and many locations throughout the state. They charge a small fee in addition to the normal MVD fee.

Convenience is the key with the Third Party MVD. Many people use the Third Party Providers even though extra fees do apply, because they save time, have convenient hours and are known for excellent customer service.

Services offered by 3rd Party MVDs include:

  1. Title Transfers
  2. Driver License Applications, including written and road tests and digital photos
  3. License Plates
  4. Tags
  5. Registration Renewals
  6. Bonded Titles
  7. Trailers
  8. Level One Inspections
  9. Various Permits

Save time! Find the nearest Authorized MVD Third Party Provider near you!

state of arizona

Cool Destinations - Prescott AZ

Great Places To Go This Summer To Cool Off

Prescott

Surviving the heat in Southern Arizona is certainly a challenge, but there are many areas in Arizona where a traveler can find places to escape the hot weather conditions.

Take a Trip to The High Country

Northern Arizona offers many diverse and unique possibilities to find a cooler place to enjoy this summer. One of the special gems in this category is the original Territorial Capital of the State, “Everybody’s Hometown”: Prescott, Arizona.

Just a 2 hour drive from Phoenix, Prescott is a favorite and fun “cooling-off” spot for southern Arizona residents. Known as the “mile high” city with the elevation of 5,200 feet, Prescott’s milder temperatures in the summer attract many visitors.

In addition, for fun seekers, it is never lacking in things to do. It is a shopper’s paradise. Whether you are interested in high end jewelry or Native American Art or everything in between, there are many boutiques , shops and art galleries and great restaurants. On most weekends during the summer, there are festivals, art shows and interesting events to enjoy. For the sports minded, there are many hiking and mountain biking trails, lakes for fishing and kayaking, and peaceful places in the pines for picnicking and relaxing.

Prescott, established by President Lincoln as Arizona’s Territorial Capital, was originally home to soldiers, gold seekers and gun fighters. This historical western town retains much of its original flavor and appeal. Built around the Courthouse Square, which is across the street from the world-famous “Whiskey Row”, this city is a must to those wanting to visit to Northern Arizona.

Prescott is known as “Everybody’s Hometown” for a reason. If you come here, you will meet the most friendly people ever! Come for the day, or come to stay awhile–you will love it! If you do stay for a few days (recommended), you might consider a hotel located close to town so that you can walk to all the Courthouse Square activities. For example, a beautiful and comfortable hotel within walking distance of the center of town is the SpringHill Suites on East Sheldon Street. Amenities include a Fitness center, Business Center, Pool, and Wheelchair Access. Trip advisor gives it 4 1/2 stars!

Related Links and Sources

http://www.prescott.com/faqs

springhillsuites.marriott.com

Top Ten Things for Your Summer Road Trip in 2016

PACKING FOR A SUMMER ROAD TRIP

Summer is finally here. The time for the long awaited summer road trip has arrived. How can you best prepare for your trip to make it the great success that you have dreamed it would be? Whether you are planning a trip to the beach, the mountains, the big city or a visit to friends or family, careful planning will insure the most enjoyable time with the least amount of hassle; so, including the most essential items when you pack is very important. The following is a list of suggestions that will make your trip easier.

top ten road trip items

Top 10 Things to Consider Taking on Your Road Trip

  1. Maps of the areas you intend to visit, or a GPS. A GPS or a smartphone is great to have along because besides directions, it can provide you with many points of interest such as locations of restaurants, parks and places to stay. Remember to bring chargers for your GPS and/or smartphone.
  2. Be sure to include plenty of snacks and water for the trip. Trail mix rocks, protein bars for those moments between meals, bottled water and beef jerkey are no brainers.
  3. Prescriptions: Remember to pack any necessary prescriptions plus over the counter remedies such as pain relievers, immodium, antacids and medicine for motion sickness. Also be sure to include sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and a first aid kit.
    prescriptions on road trips
  4. Basic things like tissues, baby wipes, paper towels and hand sanitizer should also be included. Baby wipes are great for helping to keep your hands clean. Take an extra roll of toilet paper in case the rest stops you visit are out of supplies.
  5. Comfortable clothing and a couple of blankets and extra pillows can also make the trip more enjoyable, especially for the children.
  6. Don’t forget to bring your camera and its charger or an extra battery.
  7. A laptop computer or a DVD player will help pass the time for children or teenagers. Make sure you have a charger for each device that will plug into the car’s cigarette lighter. Audio books are also a great thing to bring along.
  8. Board games, a pack of cards and word games (with a dictionary), plus some simple sporting equipment such as a frisbee or a ball to play with at road stops.
  9. It is also smart to bring along an extra set of car and house keys to pack in a separate purse or bag.
  10. Be sure your car is equipped with a roadside emergency kit which includes a flashlight and extra batteries.
  11. BONUS ITEMS: Best way to pack successfully and NOT forget anything is to create your master list first and check items off as you pack. Doesn’t make sense to “wing it”. Be ready for fun! AND, make sure your vehicle registration and drivers licenses are up to date and not ready to expire. It would be a bummer to have an expired ID or tags while on your road trip. If you need to get your title, registration or drivers license up to date, visit an ADOT authorized private, third party motor vehicle services company near you! See Arizona’s only authorized directory at: www.AZMVDSERVICES.com !!

BE SAFE AND ENJOY YOUR TRIP!

Driving in Monsoon Season

Summertime is here and with it comes rising temperatures and dry stretches of weather. This warmth is often shortly followed by a change in the climate bringing about the monsoon season, a period of time in Arizona with rising humidity, bursts of intense storms and thankfully the beginning of cooler temperatures and very welcome rainfall. The warm air in Arizona helps create the monsoon as it causes low pressure zones that, in turn, draw moist air from the oceans.

In Arizona, winds usually come from the west, but they shift to a southeasterly wind in the summer bringing moisture from California and the Gulf of Mexico. With the wind shift, increase in moisture, and low pressure in the desert there is the perfect recipe for storms that form rapidly and that can dissipate just as rapidly. With the start of these quickly forming, sometimes violent storms can come the start of some very dangerous driving conditions. It is important to remember to be safe and use caution when travelling. Take into account some safety measures when driving during the monsoon season to keep you, your family and friends, and other drivers safe on the road.

monsoon driving arizona

Flooding and Rain
The monsoon season begins on June 15 and ends on September 30 with storms peaking between mid-July and mid-August. During this time, approximately half of Arizona gets half of its annual rainfall. This means not only lots of rain, but also flooding and some dangerous driving conditions.
It is important to remember to be safe and aware when driving during a monsoon to stay safe as these monsoon storms can often pack a wallop with lots of rain in a short period of time. More deaths occur each year due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard. This is mostly because people underestimate the force of water.
Flash floods are much stronger than people often realize with the force capable of downing vegetation and moving boulders. In fact, it can take as little as ten inches of water to float an average size car, mini-van, SUV, and truck. It isn’t about the depth of the water but the strength of the flow that gives the water its power. Here are some things to remember:
• Never enter flooded areas.
• Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
• Do not enter areas already flooded.
• Never drive through flooded roadways, roadways may be hiding washed out roadbeds.
• Do not camp or park a vehicle along streams and washes, even if they are dry and especially during threatening conditions.
• Don’t cross barricades, it is illegal and dangerous.
• If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.

Remember, when around areas prone to flooding it is important to be vigilant. Even if you aren’t experiencing a torrential downpour, it is impossible to know what is happening upstream. Flash floods appear in a matter of seconds putting your life in grave danger.

Stay out of washes and dry riverbeds. Avoid crossing already flooded areas as circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. If there are barricades up, don’t ignore them. The state of Arizona goes through great measures to keep the public safe and puts the barriers up for a reason. Stay safe, don’t go through a closure, instead, find an alternate route.

Winds and Dust Storms
During the monsoon, a storm can whip up some dangerous strong winds. Many times a storm will lead off with the high winds that produces much of the debris that creates the dust storm before the downpour of rain can follow. While many know of dust storms, many focus more on the wow factor dangers with tornadoes and microbursts. Not to discount the force of tornadoes or microbursts but the real underrated in a monsoon is actually the dust storm. Often a dust storm can have winds in excess of 40 mph and produce blowing dust that limits visibility to drivers. When driving, if caught in a dust storm with limited visibility, pull off the road, as far as you can get, and park the car.

monsoon dust storm

General Vehicle Safety and Maintenance
Part of safety during monsoon is knowing the information of how a storm works and how to stay safe but also part of it is preparation, knowledge of traffic rules, and general guidelines of what to do and what not to do during the monsoon season.

Prepare your vehicle. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and are working properly. If they are worn, be sure to replace those right away. Check your tire tread to ensure your tires are in good condition. Check your headlights and brake lights and replace any that are out. You want to be sure you are visible during a storm.
Allow time. Traffic can be rough on a day-to-day basis but in bad weather, it can be even worse. Allow extra travel time when during inclement weather so you can get to your destination safely and on time.
Slow it down! When it rains, streets become extremely slick from the moisture and from oil and other substances. This makes it difficult for a vehicle to get traction. Drive at a steady pace and avoid jerky movements when braking, accelerating, or turning.

Don’t tailgate
Tailgating in general is a bad idea butt in wet conditions it can be even worse. It takes three times linger to stop a vehicle on wet roads than on dry. Allow extra space between you and the car ahead and pay attention to the surrounding vehicles.

Put down the camera and the phone
It is only natural to want to show others what you are seeing and the desire to take pictures of the surreal beauty of that thundercloud or haboob can be extremely strong. But be cautious. Put down the phone or camera and wait until you are safely off the road to take a picture. When you are driving, stay safe, and stay focused on the road.

Zero visibility means zero driving
Visibility can be near zero when a monsoon is in force. If driving in a dangerous storm, find a safe place to park your car. If you must pull to the side of the road, pull off as far as you can, put your vehicle in park, take your foot off the brake pedal and turn off your lights. If you have your foot on the brake or have your lights on other drivers with little to no visibility might think you are on the road and try to follow you.

Overall, it is important to be safe during the monsoon. Using caution when driving in a monsoon and critical thinking to asses a situation can be crucial to your safety. Remember the safety rules of the road and be careful when driving during the monsoons. Those storms can be beautiful to watch, and awesome with power, but they can also be extremely deadly. Practicing safe driving and smart practices during the monsoon can help you get where you need to go and get there safely.

Real ID Act and Arizona

WHAT IS THE REAL ID Act?

In 2005, on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, Congress passed the REAL ID ACT. The purpose of this Act is to require states to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards that the meet security standards set by the Federal Government. According to the Act, Federal agencies may not accept these forms of ID from states that do not meet the minimum security standards.

How Will the Real ID Act Affect Arizona?

In response to the new federal ruling regarding driver’s licenses and ID cards, Arizona Department of of Transportation (ADOT) is launching the Voluntary Travel ID, a proof of identity card which meets REAL ID ACT requirements for security, and will provide the holder with access to to airports, military bases, federal buildings, and other otherwise restricted venues.

state of arizona

Am I Required to Have a Voluntary Travel ID?

Eventually, everyone desiring to travel by air or to visit restricted federal locations, will have to have the Voluntary Travel ID. As of now, however, current Arizona driver licenses and ID’s will be accepted. The new Travel ID will not be required until after October 1, 2020. According to to Motor Vehicle Division Director Eric Jorgensen, “Now everyone has several years to decide if and when to replace their current license or ID with a Travel ID.”

How Do I Apply for a Voluntary Travel ID?

In order to make the Voluntary Travel ID meet the Federal Government’s goals of security and consistency, its design includes 39 security requirements. Also, documentation provided by each applicant will be reviewed and checked against other databases to provide authenticity of the applicant’s identity. When someone applies for an Arizona Voluntary Travel ID, the following must be provided:

  • A document, such as a certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport or valid immigration document.
  • Documentation to confirm Social Security information, such as a Social Security Card or W-2 form
  • Establishment of proof of residency with two forms of documentation, such as a bank statement, utility bill or Arizona Voter Registration Card (all showing a current address).
  • For a full list of approved documents, go to:
    azdot.gov/travellD

Where Can I Apply for a Arizona Travel ID?

Beginning Friday, April 1, those wishing to convert their current driver’s license to an Arizona Travel ID.  Authorized Third Party driver license providers offer the service without an appointment. Go to www.azmvdservices.com

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths in 2015

Driving impaired, excessive speeds and not using seat belts properly were key factors in preliminary report

Although only preliminary figures, it’s clear that motor-vehicle crash fatalities on Arizona roadways increased in 2015 – and that speeding, impaired driving and failure to use seat belts and other restraints contributed significantly.

At present, the Arizona Department of Transportation is reporting 891 motor-vehicle crash fatalities for 2015. That number, which is incomplete while ADOT collects reports from law enforcement entities around the state, surpasses the 773 fatalities in motor-vehicle crashes during 2014.

 motor vehicle crash arizona 2015

Data through September 2015 show that speeding, impaired driving and failure to use seat belts and other restraints were each factors in more than a third of motor-vehicle crash fatalities.

The increase in fatalities has leaders of state agencies that look after the safety of motorists calling for Arizonans to reflect on how they act in the driver’s seat.

“We often talk about the E’s of traffic safety, including engineering, education and enforcement,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “But another E is equally important, and that is everyone. For Arizona to move toward our goal of zero fatalities, everyone must think about their responsibility to others when they get behind the wheel.”

ADOT collaborates with stakeholder groups and other agencies, including the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Arizona Department of Public Safety and Arizona Department of Health Services, to set and work toward goals in the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (azdot.gov/shsp), a comprehensive framework for reducing fatalities and serious injuries on all public roadways. Emphasis areas include speeding and aggressive driving, impaired driving, occupant protection and motorcycle safety.

“A significant cause of fatal crashes in Arizona, in addition to impairment and failing to use seat belts, is speed, unsafe lane changes and following too close,” said Col. Frank Milstead, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “Aggressive driving is a crime and puts everyone on the road at risk. If you see it, report it.”

aggressive driver road rage

Aggressive driving is a crime. Report it to authorities.

Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said it’s especially important for drivers to understand how poor decisions can end in tragedy.

“Alcohol is involved in more than a third of the fatal crashes across the state,” Gutier said. “Everyone should be aware of just how devastating impaired driving is in this state, and those who put innocent lives at risk by doing so should be prepared to face the consequences.”

“It’s important to securely buckle up all of your passengers,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “Creating a healthy environment inside your vehicle includes the use of seat belts and zero distractions. That email or text can wait.”

A final number for 2015 fatalities will be available when ADOT publishes its annual Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report later this year.
The highest annual number of motor-vehicle crash fatalities in Arizona occurred in 2006, with 1,301 on highways and local roads. In the five years preceding 2015, the toll was 773 in 2014, 844 in 2013, 831 in 2012, 754 in 2011 and 762 in 2010.

Plastic Cars - Latest Trend in Automotive Manufacturing

One of the upcoming trends in the automotive industry is the increasing use of advanced plastics and polymer composites. The development of plastic composite intensive cars is a trend for tomorrow that is in development today. The American Chemistry Council, Plastics Division has developed a Plastics and Polymer Composite Technology Roadmap for Automotive Markets.

Automotive Market Pressure

Due to several influential forces in the American automotive market, pressure is increasing for the industry to develop technologies that will create the more efficient use of fuel and meet new environmental and performance requirements. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set emissions and miles per gallon standards to more than 50 mpg for the 2025 vehicles. Another factor is an increasing consumer demand for attractive styling combined with affordability. The answer to these requirements can be found in new the manufacturing materials made of plastics and polymer composites, in addition to materials made of high-strength steel and lightweight materials such as aluminum. Weight reduction and strength as well as styling are needs met by the innovative use of plastics and polymer composites, particularly the carbon-fiber-reinforced composites which are 50% lighter than steel, and 30% lighter than aluminum.

plastic cars factory

Overcoming Roadblocks

While the use of the new materials do satisfy the needs of the future automotive industry, there are, however some issues that must first be addressed. The first, and probably the most important issue, is cost. The carbon-reinforced polymer composites, while meeting the needs of lighter weights for fuel economy and public demand for style, are still quite expensive. Another challenge is that the automotive industry, over the past 100 years, has been geared to revolve around the use of metals. Because of the needs and the challenges associated with them, a roadmap has been established by the the industries involved in manufacturing plastics and polymer composites. Working with the American Chemistry Council Plastics Division, plans are being formed which will result in the recognition that plastics and polymer composites will be the materials of the future in the automotive industry.

Tags, Titles, Registrations, Drivers Licenses

When you’re ready to register your new car, or sign off on a new vehicle title, make sure to go to one of Arizona’s ADOT authorized third party MVD’s. See a complete directory at www.azmvdservices.com 

Related Automotive Links

https://plastics-car.com/Tomorrows-Automobiles/Plastics-and-Polymer-Composites-Technology-Roadmap/Plastics-and-Polymer-Composites-Technology-Roadmap-for-Automotive-Markets-Summary.pdf

http://www.globalchange.com/future-of-the-auto-industry-cars-vehicles-drivers.htm
https://plastics-car.com/Todays-Automobiles/Latest-Trends

Third Party MVD AZ - Faster Motor Vehicle Services

Third party MVD in Arizona Thriving as State’s Motor Vehicle Offices Still Report Wait TImes over 30 Minutes

For almost ten years, the Arizona MVD has worked to decrease wait times for the state’s customers. Meanwhile, 3rd party mvd offices throughout the state continue to thrive, providing faster, more efficient service for a small convenience fee.  It was recently reported in AZ Central that Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division has recorded that the average wait time in its own offices averages 45 minutes for customers to complete their motor vehicle transactions in urban areas and 25 minutes in rural areas.

The good news here is that the state of Arizona is responsible for creating the private, 3rd party motor vehicle offices throughout the state. These offices are providing shorter wait times for Arizona drivers and vehicle owners. And, even though the Arizona MVD offices are still working to lower wait times at the public motor vehicle offices, the third party motor vehicle offices (privately owned and operated) are continuing to expand their service offerings, including issuing drivers licenses and Arizona state IDs.

A big challenge for the state’s motor vehicle offices in 2016 and beyond will be the looming Real ID Act and the number of Arizona license holders who will want to make their drivers licenses and IDs compliant with the new law. In 2020, if your Arizona drivers license or ID is not Real ID compliant, you will not be able to board aircraft or enter federal facilities. Therefore, the state anticipates increased demand as people move to have their credentials compliant.

time 3rd

Your Time is Money. Check out www.azmvdservices.com

Your time is money. For your next motor vehicle transaction, visit any one of the private, 3rd party mvd offices throughout the state for shorter wait times. Check out our statewide directory of ADOT authorized third party motor vehicle service providers at www.azmvdservices.com