During this upcoming three-day Fourth of July holiday, the Arizona Department of Public Safety plans to implement a variety of highway safety activities designed to make travel safer for motorists driving Arizona's highways.
Officer Frank Valenzuela of DPS Media Relations said that the Department's Highway Patrol Division will have its officers participating in a number of statewide DUI enforcement and collision-reduction details.
"We plan to maximize our coverage throughout the weekend, especially during the high travel days of Friday and Monday," Valenzuela said. " We also will conduct our second ‘Tan Day' in which executive-level sworn officers will either patrol solo or ride with other officers."
"Our Patrol Officers will also be taking a zero tolerance approach to motorist who slow or stop the on valley's freeway systems to look at fireworks displays, " Valenzuela said.
During the past 15 years, the Forth of July has become Arizona's most deadly holiday weekend, averaging 12.8 fatalities per weekend over the past 15 years. Last year, which was only a one-day holiday, 15 people lost their lives statewide in 10 traffic crashes.
The most deadly Fourth of July weekend occurred in 2003 when 25 people lost their lives in 20 crashes that tragic holiday weekend.
The state's two most deadly crashes on the Fourth of July weekend each claimed 10 lives. On July 4, 1966, 10 people where killed when two vehicles collided at a high rate of speed on State Route 86, 32 miles west of Tucson. On July 3, 1975, 10 people were killed when a car and pickup truck collided on State Route 98, about 50 miles southeast of Page.
This year's Fourth of July holiday weekend officially starts at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at 6 a.m. Tuesday.