By Doug Pacey / ADOT Communications
ADOT’s social media accounts engage with the public hundreds of times every day.
Much of it comes via our Twitter account @Arizona DOT
, which has nearly a quarter-million followers. From questions and comments about upcoming projects, current road restrictions, Travel ID and more, we respond to all of it.
But there’s one topic we’d prefer not to engage anymore: debris in travel lanes.
Too often, motorists will tweet us about a ladder in the center lanes of State Route 51, a mattress blocking the right lane of I-10 near Casa Grande or any variety of debris obstructing travel lanes on highways statewide.
We want motorists to stop sending us that information via social media and treat it like the emergency it is and call 911. Doing this guarantees the fastest response to clear hazardous road debris from travel lanes, making travel safer for all motorists. (Yes, even with the hands-free law passed in Arizona this year, it’s OK to use your phone to call 911.)
This is important because, nationally, there are about 51,000 debris-related crashes every year that result in about 10,000 injured motorists. Arizona isn’t immune. Last year, Department of Public Safety troopers responded to more than 1,000 collisions where debris was a factor.
At an event marking Arizona Secure Your Load Day
on Thursday, June 6, at ADOT’s Traffic Operations Center, ADOT Director John Halikowski was joined by transportation safety partners, including the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Maricopa Association of Governments. Halikowski encouraged motorists to ensure loads are secured and covered, and for people to call 911 and report hazardous road debris in travel lanes.
Also at the event were Paul and Toby Reif, whose 29-year-old son Matthew Reif was killed on June 6, 2006, when a piece of scrap metal pierced the windshield of the car he was driving on Hunt Highway in Pinal County and killed him.
Paul Reif urged people to call 911 and report hazardous debris, no matter the size.
“Calling 911,” he said, “could save someone else’s son.”