ADOT asks for haikus to promote dust storm safety

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona transportation officials are getting the message out about dust storm safety - in precisely 17 syllables.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is encouraging Twitter users to tweet haikus around the theme safe driving in haboobs - severe dust storms that hit Phoenix in the summer.

An example, from Phoenix resident Mindy Lee, who goes by the Twitter handle mindyblee: "Haboobs blow through town / In one instant it is dark / Pull over and wait."

Transportation department spokesman Timothy Tait says the agency was looking for a creative way to engage residents in its "Pull Aside Stay Alive" campaign.

So far they've seen more than 30 entries and are re-tweeting some of the best ones.

Naturally 3TV traffic reporter Gina Maravilla had to get in on the haiku fun.

"Mother Nature overwhelms / Cracker Barrel calls my name / Off the freeway, safety is my friend," she wrote.

The haiku challenge runs through Friday. Tweeters are asked to include the hashtag .