AZDPS also continued its collision reduction efforts in the Traffic Operations Center (TOC) co-location project in FY2016. The project is a collaborative effort between the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Federal Highway Administration, and DPS. The project aims to implement the most effective and efficient Traffic Incident Management (TIM) safety strategies which serve to quickly clear freeway and highway lanes at collision sites and reduce secondary collisions which are often far more severe than the initial incident and occasionally involve first responders. Troopers assigned to the Traffic Operations Center provide TIM experience, training, and authority from a law enforcement perspective to other staffers at the center. By reducing the length of time incidents remain on the highway, the Traffic Operations Center is reducing that risk which helps prevent secondary collisions from occurring. The MAG estimates the Phoenix region has saved over 5.8 million hours of traffic delay and over $112 million dollars in lost productivity over the first year of the pilot project. The benefit-cost ratio is 250 to one. Due to the success of the program, many other states are expected to model their co-location traffic operations projects after Arizona’s program.
The efforts of the troopers and others assigned to the Traffic Operations Center also play a role in reducing congestion and positively impacting the economy. During the first nine months of the project, the average time to clear freeway lanes at crash sites was reduced by nearly one hour (54 minutes) or 63 percent.