State highways subject to new regulations

Stephen Peck
Mesa Legend

Safety Corridor sign
(Photo: Stephen Peck / Mesa Legend)

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has implemented new regulations onto certain parts of Arizona highways.  The US-60 is one section that has been selected. A stretch of the US-60 has been turned into a Safety Corridor stretching from the Loop 101 to the Loop 202.

There is zero tolerance for violations and increased law enforcement presence in this stretch of highway. This stretch of highway was selected because of the numerous traffic violations and accident history.

ADOT has identified these zones due to a two yearlong study that showed a high number of accidents and speeding. According to Doug Pacey, communications project manager with ADOT, data collected from 2012-2014, the US-60 (Mile Post 177-190) had 1,861 crashes with six of them having fatalities. The leading cause was speed.

According to the ADOT, Dec. 12, 2016 was the inception of these corridors on our local highways. Students that travel to the Dobson Campus or coming from the Red Mountain Campus, via the US-60, should be aware of these new regulations.

There will be zero tolerance in these zones. Trooper Kameron Lee, a public information officer with Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) defines zero tolerance. “What we’re looking for are hazardous collision causing violations,” said Trooper Lee. These include speeding, turn signal usage, and gladiatorial driving.  Now, this does not mean everyone one seen speeding will get a ticket.

DPS does not have a certain speed set for when you will be pulled over.  The troopers are allowed to use their experience and discretion when enforcing these zones.  Trooper Lee said, most of the time when you get pulled over you will be receiving a citation. This is not set in the stone, the troopers once again have discretion based on the circumstances.

They are going to talk with you and assess the situation to make their decision, but these zones are there for a reason. DPS will be focusing their enforcement of these zones when they are not taking care of their number one priority in service calls. These calls include wrecks on Valley freeways, broken down vehicles blocking traffic or any sort of highway hazard.

Otherwise when they are not taking care of the service calls, they have been instructed to be in these corridors, said Trooper Lee. If you drive on the US-60 regularly and are wondering why you are not seeing people pulled over in these zones it is for the safety of you and the other motorists. Everyone has seen brake lights turn on ahead for no reason and then see the flashing blue and red and it makes sense.

DPS has instructed their troopers to handle stops in these corridors in a certain manner. Trooper Lee said, “They’ll exit and go to a parking lot somewhere right there at the exit, wherever it is they’re trying to get them off the freeways. One, for safety reasons for the trooper and the motorist that has been stopped out there, and two it’s less of a distraction for other people driving by.”

ADOT has implemented these corridors and DPS enforces for the well-being of the citizens and visitors of Arizona.  DPS will pro-actively be in these corridors when not responding to their service calls, according to Trooper Lee. One should not expect to see many traffic stops on the sides of the freeways due to the safety of commuters.

The other Safety Corridor locations according to ADOT, are “Interstate 10 (urban): Four-miles from the I-17 Stack to SR 51/Loop 202 Red Mountain Mini-Stack (mileposts 143-147), Interstate 10 (rural): Twenty-three miles from Loop 202 Santan Freeway to State Route 187 (mileposts 162-185), and Interstate 40 (rural): Twenty-three miles from Kingman east to US 93 (mileposts 49-72).”

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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