ADOT expands traffic safety public awareness offerings in 2020

Includes tragic reminder to drive alert in work zones

PHOENIX – At the Arizona Department of Transportation, 2020 saw the creation of a terrifying distracted driving awareness campaign, a tragic reminder of the need to drive safely in work zones and the adaptive nature of traffic safety professionals.

For National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in October, ADOT launched its “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me” public awareness campaign. The campaign features regular people doing jobs most of us find frightening. What’s the only thing that terrifies the venomous snake handler? Distracted drivers, of course.

The awareness campaign aims to influence and change driver behavior, resulting in fewer drivers engaging in terrifying distractions and making roads safer for everyone. In 2019 in Arizona, at least 10,491 drivers involved in crashes were engaged in distracted driving behavior. These crashes are entirely preventable.

National Work Zone Awareness Week carried extra significance this year in Arizona. A month prior, one of our own, Frank Dorizio, was struck and killed on Interstate 10 south of Phoenix. In the days and weeks that followed the death of Frank, a member of ADOT’s Incident Response Unit, ADOT launched into a public outreach and education effort that carried through National Work Zone Awareness Week with the objective to create more awareness about driving safely in work zones and Arizona’s “Move Over” law.

Public education about “Move Over” continued into the fall when ADOT joined with traffic safety stakeholders and observed National “Move Over” Day, placing safety messages on overhead message boards statewide.

In November 2019, Arizona traffic incident management (TIM) professionals organized the state’s first-ever mass training event for National TIM Awareness Week. The current public health crisis wouldn’t allow for a repeat of that event in 2020, so organizers developed a virtual TIM training course.