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Safety corridors pilot program to decrease car crashes ends in Arizona

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 18:44:23-04

PHOENIX — Four designated "Safety Corridors" across Arizona highways were put in place years ago to help decrease collisions, but ABC15 is learning that the pilot program has ended.

ADOT implemented the 'Safety Corridors' in two phases: Phase I was implemented on Dec. 20, 2016, and Phase II was implemented on January 31, 2017.

The partnership with ADOT and DPS hoped to influence the behavior of drivers by designating safety corridors that had signage warning drivers about enforcement.

A spokesperson for ADOT said after a review of the program they decided to remove the signs altogether in October 2019.

In an email, ADOT wrote, “Reviews of the program were conducted by ADOT and DPS in late 2019 and again in late 2020 which showed either minimal or no improvement in crashes and no obvious correlation between crashes and the existence of the safety corridors. Given that the impact of safety corridors was negligible and that the program was always meant to be temporary, DPS, ADOT, and GOHS made the decision to end the program and remove the signs.”

The safety corridors included four areas: I-10 from the I-17 “stack” to SR 51 “mini-stack” (milepost 143-147); I-10 from Loop 202 Santan to SR387 (milepost 162-185); US60 from Loop 101 Price to Loop 202 (milepost 177-190); and along I-40 from US93 to US93 (milepost 49-72).

DPS’s website on Safety Corridors is still up, and they said that ‘more Safety Corridors will be added in the future if the current pilot program in Arizona proves successful.’

Troopers implemented a ‘zero tolerance' approach to those drivers who commit hazardous collision violations in those areas.

“The intent of the corridors, the signs, and the increased enforcement by Arizona State Troopers is to save lives by reducing traffic speed and improving driver behavior,” according to DPS.

So what’s being done to slow drivers down? ADOT said in an email, “traffic safety officials continue to look at other ways to influence driver behavior and improve safety on Arizona’s roads.”

In 2020 DPS gave 103,512 speeding citations. In 2021, they gave 112,363 speeding citations. And so far in 2022, they've given 26,656 speeding citations. Data on the specific safety corridors was not released by DPS.

DPS also released the following statement:

"The Department's Highway Patrol Division (HPD) continuously analyzes statewide collision data and strategically deploys state troopers to enforce state laws, including speed related statutes, in an effort to reduce collision causing hazardous violations. The HPD works collaboratively with other agencies such as the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Arizona Department of Transportation to seek out grant funding opportunities supporting education and enforcement details through overtime, speed enforcement equipment, public safety campaigns and messaging. The multiagency partnership includes analysis, education, and enforcement in construction zones around the state. The Department prioritizes traffic safety details and routinely works to strategically address public safety concerns."