In December 2016 and January 2017, four permanent Safety Corridors were implemented in Arizona – two at urban locations in Phoenix and two at rural locations. This safety-related education and enforcement program is intended to reduce crashes, injuries and deaths on four freeway corridors using special signs, targeted public information outreach and increased enforcement. The Safety Corridor program is a joint effort by ADOT, Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
What is a Safety Corridor? Safety Corridors are special segments of highway that have been selected for special driver education and increased highway patrol enforcement. The corridors are identified by special signs telling drivers when they enter and leave the corridors. In addition to the signs, there will be more highway patrol officers on the road making more stops. The intent of the corridors, the signs and the increased enforcement is to save lives by reducing traffic speed and improving driver behavior.
What should drivers expect? On the surface, drivers will see additional signage encouraging safe driving behavior and more patrol cars. Those two factors – education and enforcement – should result in fewer crashes in these corridors, making the highway safer. If you drive through a Safety Corridor and obey the speed limits and all other driving laws, you have nothing to worry about and can expect to encounter better driver behavior. For those who speed, drive distracted or aggressively, they can expect to have a highway patrol officer save them from hurting or killing themself or others, in addition to a citation and fine. Speeding is the most common cause of crashes in Arizona and drivers must understand that their actions can make roads safer for everyone, especially themselves.
How were Safety Corridor locations selected? Safety Corridors were selected through a combination of statewide traffic crash data and law enforcement observations. All corridors have two things in common: a high number of severe and fatal crashes and the primary cause of these crashes is driver behavior (speeding, aggressive driving, impairment and distracted driving). The Safety Corridors are reminders that these actions will not be tolerated.
Will more Safety Corridors be added? If this pilot program is successful, Arizona will add additional Safety Corridors. We’re a long way from identifying what those locations might be, however.