Blue and Silver Alerts on Overhead Message Signs

Blue and Silver Alerts

Trying to stay safe while traveling Arizona’s highways is crucial, but being kept up-to-date on emergency alert information could potentially allow you to assist in the speedy apprehension of a violent criminal who killed or seriously injured local, state or federal law enforcement officers, or find a missing senior citizen.

Overhead message boards – electronic signs suspended above rushing traffic and provided by Arizona’s Department of Transportation (ADOT) – can help you do just that.

In addition to pertinent commute times, travel alerts and safety messages, the digital signs will also inform drivers of Blue and Silver Alerts. Similar to AMBER Alerts (for missing children), Blue and Silver Alerts are issued by law enforcement officials, who are seeking the public’s help.

Silver Alerts will be issued following the report of a missing person who is 65 or older, whereas, Blue Alerts will be issued following an attack on a law enforcement officer if the suspect has fled the scene of the offense according to ADOT. Several other conditions must be met before either of these alerts are issued. These are discussed in further detail below.

While these alert systems may not be new, we felt the need to reiterate their importance, especially given the fact that many drivers, like myself, may not be aware of these specific alert messages or how to appropriately respond. These alerts were initiated based on the overwhelmingly positive results of the AMBER Alert.

For a Silver Alert, the message will read “Silver Alert – Dial 511 For More Info.” If available, vehicle information will also be displayed. Again, these alerts are only issued for missing persons 65 years of age or older, and who is believed to be in danger because of health issues or a mental or physical disability. A Silver Alert can also be issued if the circumstances of the missing person are considered suspect.

For a Blue Alert, the message board will read “Blue Alert/License Plant #/Vehicle Description,” followed by a second rotating message “Dial 511 For More Info.” These alerts are issued following an attack on a law enforcement officer if the suspect has fled the scene of the offense. The suspect must also be deemed a threat to the public or other law enforcement officers by law enforcement officials.

Message boards are used regionally, not statewide, and will also display the appropriate message until the person is found or a time limit of three hours has been reached.

When you are traveling on Arizona’s busy highways, make sure to buckle-up, and stay alert 100% of the time. And if you notice a Blue or Silver Alert message, keep in mind the difference you can make on assisting our community’s most important public servants, or most vulnerable citizens.

The Importance of Staying Alert in Construction Zones

staying alert in construction zones

We all have somewhere to be by a certain time when we are on the road. We intend to leave early, but it doesn’t always work out that way. On top of this, we may be fumbling with the radio, or looking for directions on our phone to our end destination.  With these factors, we find ourselves in a bit of a hurry and distracted. This can be dangerous to not only you, but others on the road. Aside from other drivers, constructions workers are at their office daily, which happens to be on the road, and are at a major risk for distracted or rushed drivers.  The following tips can help minimize these risks and ensure that you and others, including construction workers, remain safe while on Arizona’s roadways.

KEEP ALL CELLULAR DEVICES PUT AWAY

Pokémon Go is a huge hit right now, but as ADOT states, behind the wheel is no place to be throwing out your pokéball. Phones are a major distraction on the road, and construction sights decrease driving speed significantly in a short amount of time. In order to avoid an accident, keep your eyes on the road at all times, and remain a safe distance behind the cars in front of you in case of unexpected stops.

MOVE OVER OR SLOW DOWN

A new law in Arizona requires that vehicles with flashing lights have the right of way. Drivers must either change lanes or if not safe to do so, slow to a crawl. This is crucial not only with emergency and broken down vehicles, but also construction zones. In order to ensure smooth sailing, drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

Entering a construction zone when you are in a rush to get somewhere is never fun. Watch your local new station, listen to your favorite radio station, or access AZ511 for information on highway conditions before you head out. Rushing through a construction zone can put people’s lives at risk as well as result in a major fine by local law enforcement.

Your Guide to the Best Block Party

block party

There’s nothing quite like summer. The food, the parties, the pool and lakes, and the long nights. Even on days where temperatures hover above 110-degrees, you’ll find us Arizonians outside, soaking up the sun (with lots of H20 of course). Summertime is one of the best times of years for getting outside and spending time with friends.

Why not use this time to have a summer block party? Hosting a summer block party can be a great way to get the whole neighborhood together for some summertime fun. If you’re thinking about planning a summer block party, or already have one in the works, these tips will guarantee an amazing and safe event.

The Logistics

Enlist Some Help

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of your friends, family or the neighbors you DO know. Block parties are not a one person show. Assign each person a job, such as getting the permit (if applicable), sending out invitations, creating a food signup sheet, etc. Sign Up Genius is a great resource.

Invitations

Invite all your friends, family, and neighbors to your block party using this awesome invitation idea (found on Pinterest). You’ll need cute desert size paper plates, a stapler or glue, a hole puncher, and some rubber bands. Once you’re done creating your invitations, simply hang them on the doors of people you wish to invite.

Name Tags

Since you might be meeting some new neighbors during this event (which is part of the point), you’ll want to provide name tags for all the attendees to wear. Blank name tags will suffice but make sure to provide enough markers to go around. Set up a table with plenty of name tags and markers.

Safety First

Because outdoor events don’t offer the same controlled environment as indoor events, it’s important to take everyone’s safety into consideration, when planning your block party. Block off the street with plenty of barricades and set up ample lighting (don’t just rely on street lights).

Summer Block Party Food Ideas

Potlucks

One of the easiest, and most cost effective, summer block party food ideas is a potluck! Ask each of your attendees to bring main dishes, desserts, sides, etc. so you have food for everyone. If planning a barbeque, ask each attendee to bring a package of hot dogs, or hamburgers along with buns.

Barbeque

Nothing says summer like a barbeque. Have a few neighbors or close friends bring grills (you’ll need more than one or two) and then set up an eating area around them. Don’t have access to full-size grills? Consider picking up a few portable grills. You can find portable grills that take either charcoal or propane.

Food Set Up

Set up various food stations such as: condiments and snacks, main courses, and deserts. Depending on your theme, you can use clean, plastic sand pails with shovels to put chips and candy in. These also work great for utensils. An inflatable pool is perfect for displaying your beverage offerings.

Party Décor and Game Ideas

Hang a Banner

Start the party off right by hanging a banner welcoming everyone to the block party. Be sure to hang it somewhere will everyone will see it. If you don’t have a banner, grab a chalkboard and some chalk, and use your imagination. Set one or two chalkboards up at the entrance to your street.

Decorations

The next step is to ensure you decorate with style. You can make simple beach ball garland using a little paint, Styrofoam balls, and string. Get the tutorial here (found on Pinterest). You can also decorate with plastic tablecloths from the dollar store. Don’t forget to make a DIY photo booth with props.

Games

Tic Tac Toe Frisbee is always a favorite. Simply draw a Tic Tac board on the sidewalk or street using chalk and use Frisbees marked with an X or O. You can also create a jumbo Jenga game using 54 2 by 4s cut into 10.5” pieces. Be sure to sand the sides to avoid splinters. Also consider having a raffle with summer themed prizes.

Know Road Conditions Before You Go with These Four Methods

road conditions

Know road conditions before you go.

We’ve all been there! Running late to work, to pick up the kids, or for an appointment. The last thing we need, or want, is to be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. But, unfortunately, bumper to bumper traffic is often the end result of our rushing. Knowing current road conditions, including traffic congestion caused by road work or accidents, can help you get to your destination on time. Here are four convenient ways to do just that.

Phone: You will be able to receive current traffic and airport information, special event and parking information, traffic times on highly used roadways, road conditions, and weather forecasts, simply by dialing 511 from a landline or mobile phone. 511 is also updated with specific public safety alerts, including AMBER and Silver alerts, as they occur. 511 also provides border wait times. The Arizona 511 traveler line can be accessed from outside the state by dialing 1-888-411-ROAD (7623).

Web: The road conditions you can check in real time, by following this link, include: crash/incident, delay/road work, road closures, information/activity, and weather. You can even receive a customized weekend report detailing any known, non-accident related, closures. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an ADOT app, at least not yet. However, if an app is what you’re looking for, AZ Traffic brings images from the Arizona Department of Transportation cameras to your iPhone.

Apps: One app that has people talking about it is Waze. Waze provides users with real-time traffic information and road alerts. The app also helps you navigate your way to the cheapest gas station on your route. As you drive along, the app will periodically notify you via pop-ups of incidents on the road ahead within a preset radius or along your chosen route, if you’ve set a destination. Road closures due to extensive construction are also accurately represented.

Twitter: Twitter users can get free traffic updates by following the Arizona Dot (@ArizonaDOT) feed. Arizona Dot provides updates throughout the state. The ADOT Twitter account does more; however, than just dish out trip information and tips, as the people behind it also interact personally with its followers. Questions commonly asked and answered on the feed include: “How does I-10 look between Phoenix and Tucson?” How are my Arizona vehicle registration fees calculated?;” and more.

6 Must See Places in Arizona

Arizona is one of the best places in the country to adventure. Every weekend, hundreds of outdoor adventurers from near and far, venture out to experience all Arizona has to offer. Whether you’re venturing out for the day, three-days or longer, you can enjoy outdoor adventures and take in breathtaking scenery when you visit any one of the six following must see places. Just be sure to have a safe trip and avoid barricaded areas.

#1: Grand Canyon

grand-canyon-1083745_1280

Image courtesy of Pixabay

 

One of the biggest attractions in Arizona, and quite possibly, the nation is the spectacular Grand Canyon. Stretching 277 miles from end to end, steep, rocky walls descend more than a mile to the canyon’s floor where the wild Colorado River traces a swift course southwest. This incredible landscape reveals the power of nature and the wonder it can create. When visiting the Grand Canyon there are four main destinations for you to visit: South Rim, West Rim, East Rim, and North Rim.

Official Site: Grand Canyon

#2: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

lake-powell-986360_1280

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The Glen Canyon National Recreational Area provides visitors with more than 1.2 million acres of stunning scenic views, unique geology, and evidence of 10,000 years of human history. The area is also home to Lake Powell; one of the United States largest manmade lakes. The Glen Canyon Dam, a visitor favorite, was constructed between the years of 1956 and 1964 to block the Colorado River and create Lake Powell. The town of Page is a good base for exploring everything that the area has to offer.

Official Site: Glen Canyon

#3: Hoover Dam

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Hoover Dam is a testimony to what our country is capable of, even in the face of adversity. As one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, Hoover Dam was built during the Depression, and completed in 1935. The Dam is 726 feet high and 1,244 feet wide. It crosses the magnificent Colorado River, links Arizona and Nevada, and its views are truly breathtaking. The Hoover Dam Visitor Center is open every day of the year except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Official Site: Hoover Dam

#4: Sedona

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Located two hours north of Phoenix, and 30 miles south of Flagstaff, lies one of the most beautiful places on earth. Surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land, Sedona provides visitors with instant access to recreational activities, such as: hiking, biking, off-roading. Multi-hued stone formations, in varying colors, create a mesmerizing scene that changes hourly. It’s the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts, visitors, and families alike. Sedona truly provides something for everyone.

Official Site: Sedona, AZ

#5: Havasu Falls

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Hidden in the Grand Canyon, on the Havasupai Indian Reservation (the people of the blue-green water), is the 100-foot Havasu Falls. The pools at the falls’ base have a bluish, green tint to the water, and the fall is forked so it gives the illusion that there are two falls when the river is flowing heavily. Havasu Falls is a premier destination for hikers – particularly experienced hikers as it requires a 10-mile hike each way in order to take in the breathtaking scenery.

Official Site: Havasupai Indian Reservation

#6: London Bridge

Image courtesy of Flickr user fstorr

Image courtesy of Flickr user fstorr

Lake Havasu’s main attraction is the 1831 London Bridge. It was relocated to Arizona in 1968, and officially rededicated in a ceremony in 1971, after it was discovered that the Bridge was sinking into the Thames (it hadn’t been designed to withstand 20th century traffic). The Lake Havasu City Visitor Center conducts a 90-minute walking tour of the London Bridge. The Bridge has consistently remained a favorite attraction in Arizona, drawing in thousands of visitors each year from around the world.

Official Site: The Iconic London Bridge

Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips

Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips

The holidays are a time for celebrating with friends and family. However, the hectic pace of the holidays can also present several increased risks, such as: overcrowded roadways, adverse weather conditions, and limited daylight. Not to mention, drivers navigating unfamiliar terrain, as they make their way over the river and through the woods.

Then…there’s the fact that more than 90 percent of all those traveling for the holiday, will do so by personal automobile, according to AAA. This is an increase of 1.4 percent over last year. Why the increase? Low gas prices, of course! The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is expected to fall below $2.00 per gallon by Christmas Day.

To help ensure you and your loved ones stay safe during this year’s holiday season – Christmas and New Years – we’ve assembled some Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips that we hope will prevent distracted, risky driving while you’re on the go. We’ve also included suggestions for keeping clear of barricaded roadways and time consuming traffic incidents.

Our Top 6 Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips

#1. Make Sure Your Car’s Ready for Winter Travel

Please don’t go anywhere in your car, unless you’ve thoroughly ensured it’s ready for winter travel, as far too many cars go off the road every winter due to driver negligence. The lights, oil, tires, belts and hoses, brake and power steering fluid, antifreeze, battery, and snow chains should all be given the green flag by a professional mechanic before hitting the open road.

#2. Don’t Get Stranded on the Side of the Road

If you will be traveling quite a distance this holiday season, it is very important that you keep your smart phone fully charged, and loaded with helpful travel apps (e.g. Google Maps, Waze, Gasbuddy, Hotel Tonight, iExit Interstate Exit Guide, and more are all great apps). It would be wise to have a phone charger in your car; in the event you need to recharge your phone as it is a necessary component of winter travel.

#3. Pack an Emergency Road Side Assistance Kit

You should never leave home without an emergency road side assistance kit – especially in the winter. These are so simple to put together. Make sure you have items such as a flash light, flare, gloves, extra blankets, jumper cables, an emergency cell phone, and food/water. Prepare your kit as if you could be stranded for a few days as it’s always better to have more than to risk running out.

#4. Don’t Leave Your Pets in the Car

You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving your pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather can be equally dangerous to your beloved pet’s health. If Fido is joining you on your journey, don’t leave them in your car, not only for a moment. Just like people, pet’s are at risk of hypothermia, frost bite, and even death in extreme conditions. Don’t risk their health; bring them inside.

#5. Tell Someone Where You’re Going

One rule of thumb when traveling, no matter the weather, is to always tell someone where you’re headed. Include your chosen route. A quick text before you start driving, to a close friend or relative, is all it takes to let someone know what way you’re headed. If something were to happen, at least your contact will have an idea of where you were headed. This information could mean all the difference in the world. Just don’t advertise it.

#6. Stay Focused

Traveling in cold, icy, and/or snowy conditions are dangerous. That’s why it’s vital that you stay focused on the road. This means NO texting and driving, eating and driving, or looking becoming distracted by the kids and driving. If you find it necessary to do any of these, safely exit the road. Staying focused on the road ahead could save your life. If you get tired while driving, always pull off the road to take a power nap, or grab some coffee: black.

Other Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips

  • Buckle up! Even if you’re just running to the store for some last minute eggnog, remember to ALWAYS buckle up. Not only is it the law; you life also depends on it.
  • Don’t drink and drive! Does your celebration include drinking? Designate a designated driver before the fun begins. Remind others to do the same. If necessary, take the keys of all holiday guests, thus ensuring everyone’s safety.
  • Plan your route in advance! When planning your route, it’s a good idea to check traffic and weather reports in advance. While technology is great, it’s recommended to always carry a backup; so don’t forget to bring along a paper map.
  • Follow the rules of the road! Refrain from speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, or cutting other drivers off. Remember excess traffic may mean you’ll have to travel below posted speed limits. Don’t respond to aggressive drivers.

From your friends at Action Barricade Company LLC., we want to wish you a very happy and safe holiday!

Holiday Event Planning: Barricade Rentals

holiday event planning

Holiday cheer begins here. Sure, the Jack-o-lantern carving kits and superhero costumes are still on the shelf, but further down the aisle we are already seeing trees, ornaments, and holiday decorations as stores begin promoting their holiday sales in October. Are you or your organization looking to host a holiday event this year? Then keep reading for some inspiring holiday event planning advice.

Now is the time of year where strategy should be at the forefront of your organization’s conversation. Whether your organization is planning a winter carnival, holiday lights event or New Year’s Eve celebration, you will need to start planning your holiday event now (if you haven’t already). This is key to the success of your event. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” ~ Alan Lakein An unplanned holiday event, unfortunately, is likely to fail.

One of the most often overlooked aspects of any holiday event planning is assessing the need for crowd control and pedestrian safety. Advanced planning will help you accomplish this! If you are planning any of the following holiday events, you will need to rent barricades, crowd control fencing, and temporary lighting to ensure that your event goes off without any troubles:

  • Haunted House
  • Trick or Treating Night
  • Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Santa’s Village
  • Holiday Lights Event
  • Winter Carnival/Festival
  • Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
  • Outdoor Hockey Game Night
  • New Year’s Eve Celebration

Step 1: Answer the following holiday event planning questions.

  • How long will my event run in terms of hours or days?
  • How many attendees can I expect?
  • Will my event be open to the public or only for certain members?
  • Do I need any temporary fence to direct crowds and mark off VIP areas?
  • Do I need flaggers to direct the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic?

Step 2: Contact a barricade and crowd control fencing rental company to begin working with an special event planning specialist. A event planning specialist will assist you in determining what and how much equipment your event will require. If you do your homework, planning your holiday event should be seamless, no matter your event’s location or the amount of attendees you expect it to receive.

With over 50 years experience, Action Barricade Company provides competitive pricing, prompt delivery, and superior service for traffic cones, message boards, temporary lighting, crowd control fencing, and event barricades for all your holiday event traffic control needs. We also have American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) accredited flaggers who can safely direct vehicular and pedestrian traffic to and from your holiday event.