Posted 4:00 PM 6/14/2012 : Monsoon Safety: Winds bring blowing dust, danger on the roads
Monsoon season officially starts Friday and while we have seen nothing but clear blue skies the past couple of weeks, the wind and dust can change those conditions pretty quickly.
It is a busy morning at Express-It shipping company and with deliveries scheduled daily across Southern Arizona, time is money. However with the monsoon's wind and dust storms just around the corner, safety tops the priority list.
"It causes some big problems," said Express-It President Lisa Carson. "We hold monthly safety meetings."
Last October a deadly 16-vehicle pileup along I10 near Picacho Peak showed just how dangerous driving in a dust storm can be. Visibility can drop near zero in a matter of minutes and that is why Express-it drivers take precautions before hitting the road. They monitor weather conditions, research alternative routes and pack the trucks so the weight is distributed evenly.
"We're not running an empty trailer that would effect possible blowover or rollover or something to that affect," Carson said.
On Monday ADOT kicked off it's "Pull Aside, Stay Alive" campaign. A reminder for drivers to pull off the road, turn off their lights, set the emergency brake and wait for the storm to clear.
"Safety begins with the driver, not only for their own safety but also for other drivers around them," said Laura Douglas of ADOT.
Transportation officials are also taking their safety message to Twitter, and having a little fun in the process. They are encouraging people to spread the word through haboob haikus (using #HaboobHaiku). Just one more tool in the fight to keep what happened last fall, from happening again.
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