The Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) encourages drivers to do their part to keep first responders safe during traffic incidents. The message comes as MCDOT recognizes this week, November 14 through November 19, as National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Awareness Week.
"Traffic incidents, whether as simple as a vehicle needing a tire change or as serious as a crash, create unsafe situations on the road," said MCDOT Director Jennifer Toth. "These incidents put motorist and responders at risk and cause delays.
TIM responders work together using well-rehearsed procedures to clear incidents more quickly, keeping motorists and responders safer. These responders include fire, police, ambulance and towing and recovery professionals.
MCDOT operates the Regional Emergency Action Coordinating Team (REACT) in conjunction with the AZTech Regional Partnership. REACT provides traffic control support for road closures on arterial streets in the cities of Avondale, Glendale, Peoria, Tolleson and Scottsdale, as well as on County roadways. REACT responds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to assist with emergency traffic situations.
"First responders cannot do this alone," added Toth. "It’s important for drivers to know their role in making safety a priority during traffic incidents."
Drivers are encouraged to:
- Move your car to a shoulder or safe nearby road, out of the lanes of traffic, if you are in an incident, your car is drivable and there are no injuries.
- Slow down and move over a lane when passing by an incident scene to provide a protective buffer for responders, and the motorists behind you. According to state law (ARS §28-775), Arizona drivers can face penalties for not slowing down or moving over when driving by a first responder with active lights.
- Tell your friends and family about these laws. Help keep your loved ones safe and avoid a ticket.