Arizona transportation officials have dropped the speed limit on a stretch of I-10 from 75 m.p.h. to 45 m.p.h. after dust storms caused two pileup crashes last week.
Dust Storm Crashes Injured Truck Driver
The speed limit has been reduced between Bowie and San Simon following crashes on Monday and Thursday of last week. No one was killed in the crashes, but a truck driver did sustain serious injuries on Monday. On Thursday, a DPS cruiser was totaled after it was hit by a tractor trailer during a dust storm, but luckily the officer was out of the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Blowing dust was also blamed for a two vehicle crash on April 7.
Officials Say They Will Lower Speed Limit And Shut Down I-10 Sooner
Arizona authorities also say that they will be quicker to shut down I-10 in the hopes of preventing crashes before they happen. The detour takes drivers 110 miles out of their way on north on U.S. 191 to Safford, then east on U.S. 70 to Lordsburg, New Mexico
State officials say that the dust has become a serious problem since a 200 acre plot was bladed to remove all vegetation in preparation for planting groves of trees. They plan to reach out to the owner of the land and ask him or her to take action.
Transportation officials continue to urge drivers to pull off the road in limited visibility conditions, to turn off headlights and keep your foot off the brake pedal.
— Quentin Mehr, PIO (@dps_pio_mehr) May 2, 2016