By David Woodfill / ADOT Communications
Whether your passion is sledding, making snowmen or taking selfies with heart hands, don’t park on highway shoulders to play in the snow.
It happens every winter: After a snowstorm passes though, common sense and driver etiquette go out the window for some, and motorists begin parking on highway shoulders, along interchange ramps and even along busy Interstate 17 to have some not-so-safe winter fun.
The photo at right snows people playing in the snow at the Stoneman Lake Road interchange with I-17 after a 2017 storm. Not a wise move, valued constituents.
Highway shoulders are for emergencies only. Stopping there puts you and your loved ones at risk of a crash. It blocks first responders and snowplows en route to emergencies or to help stranded motorists. It also contributes to backups and delays.
Oh, and have I mentioned that ADOT plows can hurl snow and ice far off the roadway? You’re going to lose that snowball fight every time, so there's one more reason to play elsewhere.
Get the picture? Great! Then let’s make this a safe and considerate winter season for everyone by using designated parking areas rather than shoulders when heading north to frolic in the snow.
If you’re on US 180 northwest of Flagstaff, where many head after winter storms, we’ve posted signs noting that shoulders are for emergencies only. But that applies everywhere, and it’s with everyone's safety in mind.
With snow season off to an early start, you can get more winter safety tips at azdot.gov/KnowSnow.