As part of ADOT’s ongoing efforts to curb distracted driving, Arizona’s 14 highway rest area locations are designated as “Safe Phone Zones” – safe locations to pull off the highway and use your phones for calling, texting and accessing mobile apps.
The Safe Phone Zone signs, which can be seen along the highways leading to rest areas and within the rest areas themselves, are part of a partnership with GEICO and feature the GEICO Gecko image.
The sponsorship program is part of ADOT’s rest area public-private partnership, which began in October 2013 and is the department’s first fully implemented public-private partnership. Under this five-year agreement, Infrastructure Corporation of America, a private company, manages the daily maintenance and operations of the rest areas, and has implemented a sponsorship and advertising program to generate revenue for reinvestment in the rest areas. The GEICO sponsorship is the first one to move forward. ADOT still owns all 14 rest areas.
“ADOT’s top priority is safety and we are committed to educating the public about the dangers of distracted driving,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski at the sign’s unveiling in June 2014. “These Safe Phone Zones provide travelers with the opportunity to pull into a rest area where they can use their phones safely and responsibly."