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Pedal off the metal: Arizona agency urges safer driving through road work zones

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

PHOENIX -- National Work Zone Awareness Week is a reminder to drivers to slow down when approaching roadway work zones.

Eight people died in Arizona roadway work-zone crashes in 2012, the most recent year the statistics are available.

Arizona Department of Transportation has more than 100 highway improvement projects underway across the state. Department spokesman Doug Nintzel said even though some drivers could face double fines, speeding remained a problem in work zones.

"Federal figures show 80 percent of the people killed in work-zone crashes are drivers or passengers. They're speeding, not paying attention, failing to move over," Nintzel said.

Tailgating and texting drivers are also factors.

"That's why we have put an emphasis on the states move over law which requires drivers to change lanes or slow down when passing vehicles with flashing lights."

Nintzel said not only are the drivers putting their lives in danger in the work zones but highway patrol officers are also at risk.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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