Labor Day safety effort on I-17

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by Erin Kennedy

Video report by Yetta Gibson

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:15 AM

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PHOENIX -- During Labor Day weekend, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Arizona Department of Health Services will be holding a safe-driving campaign starting Friday, Aug. 30 on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix.

As part of Arizona’s Labor Day Traffic Safety Task Force, DPS will place six highway patrol officers, two commercial vehicle enforcement officers and multiple freeway service patrol members along I-17 between Black Canyon City and the State Route 69 interchange at Cordes Junction on Friday and Monday, Sept. 2.

ADOT will show the phrase “Safety Corridor- Stay Alert, Stay Alive” on overhead message boards, and portable message boards will display driving safety messages such as “Buckle Up” and help warn drivers of incidents on the road.

Traffic safety information will be offered at two locations on Friday and Monday by DPS, ADOT, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Arizona Department of Health Services, the Daisy Mountain Fire Department, John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Medical Center and the Yavapai County Citizens Corps’ Community Emergency Response Team.

Labor Day travelers can visit the “Labor Day Safe Driving Fairs” to receive bottled water and first aid if needed. The stations will be set up at the Outlets at Anthem, I-17 and Anthem Way, and Sunset Point Rest Area from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday.

"The Arizona Department of Public Safety is dedicated to eliminating crashes on Interstate 17 this weekend," said DPS Director Robert Halliday. "Our ultimate goal at DPS is zero fatalities statewide. With the help of our partners at the ADOT we will be focused on preventing crashes by enforcing speed limits, safety belt usage and driver attention."

Labor Day weekend was the deadliest holiday weekend in Arizona in 2012, ADOT statistics said. A total of seventeen people died from 14 fatal crashes on Arizona highways and local roads.

"Obviously it will be a much safer and enjoyable weekend if we can avoid serious incidents or traffic tie-ups along I-17," said ADOT Director John Halikowski. "State agencies are teaming up to promote public safety and to be ready to respond quickly if accidents or other incidents happen. Drivers can do their part by buckling up, avoiding distractions and not tailgating."

ADOT will use equipment to help DPS officers along I-17 if accidents arise.

Law enforcement officers throughout Arizona will be alert for drunk drivers, said Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Before traveling during Labor Day weekend, drivers are advised to get a good sleep and inspect their vehicles for problems.

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