DPS issues hundreds of speeding tickets near Ajo, I-19 construction

Published: Mar. 24, 2017 at 10:08 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:19 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's been one year since work began for the I-19 Ajo Construction Project and despite signs and traffic cones, state troopers say speeding continues to be a big problem.

The project began in March 2016.

Within the less than 2-mile stretch, speeds d rop to 45 miles per hour from 65 miles per hour.

Records dating between March 1, 2016 and March 1, 2017 show Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers issued 829 speeding citations in the construction zone.

Even with signs posted several hundred feet before road work begins, troopers say drivers are not obeying the law.

"I've never seen a valid excuse for speeding," said Trooper Johnathon Barbeau.

Many drivers often see the construction zone and call it a speed trap.

"Well, it's not really a speed trap. There's warning signs and speed reduction signs everywhere," Barbeau said.

Barbeau and troopers like him, say they risk their lives every day to make the roads safer.

Oftentimes, traffic is too dangerous to pull drivers over.

So they use their cars as a deterrent; a warning sign to get drivers to slow down.

"It's hard to actually do traffic enforcement for that time during rush hour, between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. We try to be a visual deterrent instead of being physically active, because everyone tries to move over when they see law enforcement on the side of the road. People try and pay more attention to us than what's on the road and that's also causing another hazard," he said.

The road work is slated to last another two years.

Until then, Barbeau recommends slowing down.

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