ADOT focuses on dangerous part of I-17, says speed is top factor in crashes

- A stretch of road on Interstate 17 is notorious for lengthy shutdowns due to crashes. 

This is the portion between Black Canyon City and Sunset Point. As many of you know, the road in that area is steep and winding, but now the Arizona Department of Transportation says it is making that portion a priority. The agency plans to add safety improvements, but say preventing crashes mostly lies in the hands of drivers.

Crashes along I-17 can leave drivers stranded for hours and according to ADOT, the drivers are often to blame.

"Speed is the number one factor when it comes to crashes. The number one violation that is cited by DPS when crashes occur along I-17.. it's going to be speed too fast for conditions," said ADOT's Doug Nintzel.

Nintzel says drivers should take the lead in making I-17 a safer route.

"We need folks to slow down, obey the speed limits. We need folks to be patient out there. Do not tailgate, be careful with your passing out there and then make sure you're avoiding distraction,s including using the cell phone or texting while driving," he said.

"Every time we've driven on I-17, it's been pretty smooth you know, no accidents, everybody's kind of cautious of what they're doing," said Teresa Johnson.

Chase Parrish adds, "The roads are not the greatest, but you should still be able to control your car if you're paying attention I think."

Nintzel says ADOT will kick off a new safety project in 2017, focusing on the stretch between New River Road and the Sunset Point rest area.

"We're going to be using some of these speed feedback signs along I-17. Those are the signs that display the speed that you're traveling, but then actually remind you of what the speed limit is. We're also going to have some more electronic message boards out there to again give drivers some information about the highway conditions."

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