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Safety tip: Highway shoulders are for emergencies, not snowball fights

Dec 05, 2018


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.

CaptureIt 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.

untitled1Oh, 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

The Arizona Ombudsman – Citizens Aide helps you resolve ongoing issues with State Agencies.

Civil Rights

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés) y otras normas y leyes antidiscriminatorias, el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT) no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, edad o discapacidad. Las personas que requieran asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles de ADOT en Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más antes posible para asegurar que el Estado tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.