The Arizona Department of Transportation has established a new Incident Response Unit that will monitor valley freeways to enhance safety and minimize disruption of traffic after crashes on Valley freeways. The unit has been established to work alongside state troopers and other first responders.
Fourteen units, which are part of ADOT’s Traffic Systems Management and Operations Division (TSMO), patrol freeways to be ready to respond quickly to incidents. Drivers can expect to see them helping with traffic control after crashes, removing debris from freeways and doing minor maintenance.
It’s another way ADOT is using the Arizona Management System championed by Governor Doug Ducey to improve processes and increase value to the traveling public, in this case with a goal of reducing crashes that often occur in traffic backups while supporting traffic flow on Valley freeways.
“Secondary crashes are often worse than the initial incident,” said Brent Cain, director of the Transportation Systems Management and Operations Division. “By having units ready to respond and quickly clearing minor crashes off the road or setting up proper traffic control, it’s going to improve safety for motorists and first responders.
Because the units are mobile and already on the road, ADOT’s incident response times will be reduced. Previously, maintenance crews had to stop their work and return to maintenance yards to pick up vehicles and equipment before responding to crashes. These new units are equipped with message boards and traffic cones needed at crash scenes and closures.
A faster response means traffic control will be set up sooner, freeing Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers to concentrate on crash investigations. Incident Response Unit crews also can safely move minor collisions off the roadway.
Drivers can expect to see ADOT units on Phoenix area freeways weekdays from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Crews will be on call overnights and weekends.