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ADOT testing new road speed decals to help slow down drivers

Posted: 3:44 PM, Oct 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-08 09:35:59-04
Road painted speed limits.png

PHOENIX — It is an area known for crashes; a stretch of State Route 347 between Riggs Road and I-10.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says that one of the biggest reasons why is because people are driving way too fast.

That has pushed traffic engineers to look at unique ways to take action, and they are now testing speed decals on the roadway.

The decals are large, white, and bold on the dark highway asphalt alerting drivers what the speed limit is; right alongside standard speed limit signs.

"We hope it's an attention-getting thing," said Doug Nintzel with ADOT.

Nintzel explained that they are looking to see if this type of visual reminder actually triggers a driver to slow-down.

"The intersections along this particular highway would be locations that we're concerned with because those tend to be the areas where you're going to have more crashes because those are the conflict points," Nintzel explained.

That is why drivers will see these decals on the roadway in transition areas, meaning spots where the speed limit drops.

Nintzel said combating distracted driving has been a challenge. So, they hope something different like this may grab a driver's attention.

"You just never know because we're always looking for that next tool that we can use to help with highway safety," Nintzel said. "And we have now been adding things like the actual number of the highway when you're approaching a freeway ramp. That has been very helpful for drivers and this is another extension of that."

It may take time before this expands. ADOT said they want a few years of crash data that they can compare to before the decals and after the decals were added. They want to see if this really could be a way to change driver behavior.