Big-rig speed lower on road

KINGMAN, Ariz. -- An unusually high number of traffic accidents involving big rigs has sparked the Arizona Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit for trucks as they descend along a 13-mile stretch of Arizona Route 68 toward the Colorado River communities of Bullhead City, Ariz., and Laughlin.

Transportation officials hope the adjustment will reduce truck traffic incidents and enhance safety for westbound motorists.

An average of 25 crashes are reported annually on westbound Route 68, a prepared statement from ADOT said. Runaway trucks use two truck escape ramps on steep grades of the roadway an average of 70 times each year.

The speed limit reduction is for trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds.

Big rigs will be required to slow down to 50 mph from milepost 13 east of Bullhead City to Davis Dam road once signs are posted Oct. 29. Trucks will use the slow lane while other motorists can travel in the other lane up to 65 mph.

Spokeswoman Michele Beggs said it's the first time the Transportation Department has implemented a dual speed limit along an Arizona highway. She said accident statistics will be reviewed over time to determine whether the truck speed restriction is working.