KINGMAN – Hey, Arizona drivers, give those road crews a brake.
Arizona Department of Transportation is sending that message to motorists to slow down and stay alert when driving through construction work zones.
“Safety is the No. 1 priority at ADOT,” Director John Halikowski said in a prepared statement. “When it comes to work zones, where vehicles can speed by just inches away, there are very few more dangerous places to spend a workday. We rely on motorists to pay attention when entering work zones, not only for the safety of our crews, but for drivers and passengers, too.”
ADOT crews shared personal stories about work zone safety on social media during the first week of April. They talked about working on Arizona highways as drivers speed by them, ignoring construction zone speed limits.
Drivers and passengers accounted for 82 percent of work zone fatalities nationally in 2014, the most recent year with complete data, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Preliminary data for Arizona showed seven fatal crashes in work zones, resulting in seven deaths, and 27 serious-injury crashes.
To protect those who build and maintain Arizona’s highways, follow these tips when traveling through work zones:
• Pay attention: Observe and obey posted warning signs, as well as flaggers. You can be cited for disobeying a flagger’s directions.
• Expect the unexpected: Speed limits might be lowered, travel lanes could be narrowed or eliminated and people may be working near your travel lane.
• Slow down: Speeding is one of the leading causes of work zone crashes.
• Merge safely: Do it early and carefully or as directed by signage instead of barging into a line of vehicles at the last moment.
• Don’t tailgate: The most common crash in a work zone is the rear-end collision. Don’t follow too closely and, again, slow your speed.
Active work zones along Interstate 40 near Kingman include lane restrictions in place at DW Ranch Road for bridge reconstruction, and work near the interchange of I-40 and State Route 95 in Lake Havasu City, where the road is narrowed on one lane for 9 miles, again for bridge reconstruction.
ADOT is also working on a stretch of U.S. Highway 93, widening the shoulder in the southbound lane from Lake Mead National Recreation Area to Rosie’s Den.
The transportation department is working to widen and improve U.S. Highway 93 from Wickenburg to Hoover Dam as part of the future Interstate 11 corridor. The long-term goal is to transform the highway into a four-lane divided highway for the entire 200-mile stretch.