An ADOT safety sign hangs above the highway.
Contributed article / Courtesy ADOT
PHOENIX – Arizona Drivers: Please slow down and stay alert in work zones on the freeway.
That’s the message from the Arizona Department of Transportation, following a weekend accident in which a Department of Public Safety patrol vehicle was struck from behind along the shoulder of an Interstate 10 work area in Phoenix.
Law enforcement reports show that 61 people have been killed in work zone-related crashes on local Arizona streets and highways from 2017 to 2020. More than 850 people have been killed across the countries in work area incidents in 2020 (the most recent year for national data available).
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating Saturday’s non-fatal crash that allegedly involved a vehicle hitting the rear of the DPS vehicle after the soldier responded to another accident near I-10 and the 40th street. The crash site was within the ADOT work area for the ongoing I-10 Broadway Curve Improvement Project.
The incident is a reminder that drivers should observe lower speed limits and remain alert to changing traffic conditions – including slowing or stopping traffic – in all work areas. ADOT’s I-10 Broadway Curve Improvement Project Team released this Work Zone Safety Public Service Announcement earlier this year.
National statistics over time have shown that 4 in 5 victims of work area accidents were drivers or their passengers. Arizona work area accident statistics from law enforcement reports for the past five years include the following:
- 2017: 18 dead, 31 seriously injured
- 2018: 17 dead, 23 seriously injured
- 2019: 15 dead, 22 seriously injured
- 2020: 11 dead, 23 seriously injured
It is important that drivers slow down and be careful when approaching and passing through all work areas, but especially in areas where workers cannot work behind barriers.
Randy Everett, ADOT Central District Administrator, emphasized the need for drivers to stay alert and not speed through work zones during National Work Zone Awareness Week in April.
“We have flashing lights, signs and other safety equipment, but often the most important factor is whether a driver is drunk, speeding or distracted in some way or other. another,” Everett said. “If you enter a work area, your first instinct should be to slow down.”
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