State Farm sponsorship boosts ADOT’s Incident Response Unit

Team patrols Valley freeways to quickly clear crashes, get traffic moving

PHOENIX – Three months after launching, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Incident Response Unit has offered assistance nearly 4,000 times on Valley freeways, helping boost safety by getting traffic moving sooner after crashes. 

Incident Response Unit truck with State Farm sponsor logoIn a first for ADOT, a new sponsorship by State Farm is helping the 14-member Incident Response Unit continue this important work, which ranges from setting up traffic control to moving vehicles involved in minor crashes to removing debris – even changing a flat tire here and there.

By improving traffic flow after crashes, the Incident Response Unit sponsored by State Farm reduces the potential for secondary crashes, which often are more destructive than the initial crashes, while helping motorists get where they need to be. This work helps free Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers to concentrate on investigations and respond to other situations on Phoenix-area freeways. 

"Protecting public safety is our state's number one responsibility, and ADOT's Incident Response Unit is doing just that," said Governor Doug Ducey. "This innovative sponsorship between State Farm and ADOT will improve highway safety while saving taxpayer dollars, which means more money to build and maintain our transportation infrastructure."

In the coming weeks, Valley drivers will see ADOT Incident Response Unit vehicles wrapped with State Farm branding as part of this sponsorship.

“Our support of the Arizona Department of Transportation Incident Response Unit program embodies our ‘good neighbor’ philosophy,” said Matthew Coleman, State Farm marketing director. “It also underscores the continued commitment State Farm has to auto safety, while helping people recover from the unexpected, which is the heart of the State Farm mission.”

“State Farm is making Arizona a better and safer place by helping ensure that everyone gets safely home,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “This sponsorship is a real win-win for everyone, including motorists and Arizona taxpayers.”

About 250 motor vehicle collisions occur each day in Maricopa County, most of them requiring a response from law enforcement, fire departments, transportation crews or tow trucks.

“Our troopers feel the difference on Valley freeways, thanks to the Incident Response Unit,” said Lt. Col. Jenna Mitchell with the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Highway Patrol Division. “When troopers are able to focus on their primary role at incident scenes, it allows them to better serve the public.

“The partnership between the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Department of Transportation is critical to traffic incident management,” Mitchell added. “The Incident Response Unit provides traffic control and assistance to motorists, allowing troopers to focus on investigating collisions and traffic enforcement, such as distracted and impaired driving, and makes Arizona safer.”

The Incident Response Unit sponsored by State Farm patrols Phoenix-area freeways from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, ready to assist state troopers and the public. In addition to providing support at crash scenes, units may be called upon to assist stranded motorists. In December alone, they responded to more than 1,400 incidents.

“Every minute counts after a crash,” said Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “When a crash is minor, getting vehicles off the highway and restoring traffic flow quickly improves safety for all.”

State Farm sponsors similar patrol units in 20 other states, helping departments of transportation use limited transportation funding for other priorities.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Karla Petty, administrator for the Federal Highway Administration Arizona Division Office. “An alliance of so many safety-minded groups is another step in the right direction to keeping Arizona drivers safe.”