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Zero tolerance zones on Arizona freeways to decrease accidents

Posted at 10:17 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 00:18:41-05
The Arizona Department of Transportation is making the roads safer by initiating safety corridors along the freeway for a one to two-year pilot program focusing on decreasing accidents. 
 
If you're driving on Interstate 10 you will see signs signaling drivers that they are entering and exiting a "Zero tolerance" area. 
 
State Trooper, Jason Pancost says the Department of Public Safety will be stopping as many vehicles as they can that are in violation. Those violations include - speeding, distracted and aggressive driving.
 
Pancost says, "There will be zero tolerance and everyone is going to get a ticket to reduce collisions."
 
The "zero tolerance" areas are where state troopers see the most violations and lack of seat belt use. 
 
DPS is looking to stop those aggressive drivers who are switching lanes.
 
Pancost adds, "trying to get somewhere 10 seconds faster than the next guy. They're the ones who are hard to anticipate and cause a lot of collisions. Even if they're not involved in the collision themselves someone behind them is getting in a wreck because of their actions.
 
Sometimes, the actions of aggressive driving lead to fatalities. According to DPS, there were 897 fatal accidents in 2015. In 2016, that number increased to more than 925 fatalities. 
 
Pancost says he believes the number one cause for those incidents are not "paying attention to the road and traffic around you."
 
Wednesday afternoon, KGUN 9 went on a ride-a-along to get an inside look at some hotspots in Tucson. After hundreds of cars drove by - Pancost pulled a man over for going 15 MPH over the speed limit. 
 
While the areas in Tucson are not part of the pilot program - Pancost says, it's a way to encourage drivers to slow down. 
 
"If we can enforce the speed in town and between here, Casa Grande and up to Phoenix - people will know that we're out here and we're being vigilant. They will know that they need to mind their speeds and mind their road manners reduce collisions," says Pancost. 
 
The first phase of the project was installed and phase 2 on U-S 60 and intersection 40 will be completed in January.