Are people paying attention to Arizona's "Safety Corridors"?

- Driving through Arizona can be a different experience for out of towners.

"I love it," said one woman. "It's faster than home."

"The speed limit's faster, and the highway is much more wide open than what we're used to from the New Jersey/Philly area," said one man.

"I think they're slower," said another woman. "I think the traffic in Atlanta is a little bit faster, regardless of the day time. Here, it just seems very relaxed." 

For full-timers, however, traffic hazards might seem normal. That was why the state decided to made some changes. In December 2016 and January 2017, four "safety corridors" were implemented around the state, including:

  • A four-mile stretch on the I-10, from the I-17 stack to State Route 51
  • A 23-mile stretch on the I-10, between Phoenix and Casa Grande
  • 13 miles on US-60
  • 23 miles on Interstate 40, near Kingman

All of them included signage to let drivers know they were entering "Zero Tolerance Zones", where speeding would be strictly enforced. The goal was to cut down on crashes caused by poor driving choices, and the corridors were also supposed to contain increased law enforcement presence.

But who's paying attention? FOX 10's Matt Galka hit the road at different times on a regular Monday to find out

I-10, towards Tucson

The speed limit for a majority of the stretch is 75 miles per hour. The car's cruise control was set on the number, and for the most part, many of the drivers in that safety corridor maintained that speed or below.

There were, however, some notable exceptions, as drivers passed to the right of the car multiple times, and some drivers blew past, going well above 75. At least on that day, Galka did not catch any DPS troopers patrolling.

US 60

Galka hit the highway shortly before rush hour, when traffic was moving steadily. Once again, cruise control was set, and maintained at a lawful speed. Galka saw dozens of cars going well above 65 miles per hour, and a red car even blew right past Galka, without using a signal.

As for enforcement, Galka did see one DPS officer pulling a driver over, as he was heading west back to Phoenix.

When asked about the effectiveness of safety corridors, specifically crash and speeding data, DPS officials say they were still waiting on it from their Highway Patrol Division.

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