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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
1:27 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Friday Catchall: Police speeding, most dangerous highway in Arizona!?

Courier illustration, file

Courier illustration, file

The Friday Catchall:

• POLICE SPEEDING – Why is that officer or deputy speeding?

It is a question that I have asked myself from time to time, when I see a law enforcement vehicle moving ahead of me or passing me – no lights or sirens, just zipping along at, say, 10 over the speed limit.

The Average Joe would say, “What, are they above the law?”

I also have a scanner in my truck, and cannot hear or have not heard a call they would be responding to. This has happened four times on Glassford Hill Road (PVPD), and on Highway 89A and Williamson Valley Road (DPS and YCSO).

I asked this of Assistant Police Chief James Edelstein of the Prescott Valley Police Department. He said you may not hear a call for them; many of their assignments come to them from dispatch over their in-vehicle computer. And, they do not respond to everything with lights and sirens.

“Of course, if an officer is driving over the speed limit (and there’s no call), we would like to address that,” he said, adding that the Police Department would want to know the who, what, when, and where of it all – including the patrol vehicle’s number (often in large print on the rear of the car or SUV).

“If there is a complaint about an officer, this department takes it very seriously, and looks into it,” said Heidi Dahms Foster, the town’s communications coordinator. “And, if you have a question please ask.”

It all makes sense. I guess it comes down to educating the public, as well as a matter of perception.

If you see something like this, contact that local law enforcement’s office. For example, for non-emergencies, call the Prescott Valley Police at 928-772-9267; Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office at 928-771-3260; Prescott Police at 928-777-1900; and Chino Valley Police at 928-636-4223. And, call 911 for emergencies.

• DANGEROUS – Speaking of speeding, actually, safety on the roads we drive – the report on the most dangerous highways in the United States is in and Arizona made the top 50 three times.

In fact, the No. 1 most dangerous highway in the country is Highway 93 in Mohave County. (Yes, it truly goes from Wickenberg to Interstate 40 and from Kingman to Las Vegas and beyond.) The Kingman-to-Vegas leg registered 70 fatal crashes and 90 deaths between 2010 and 2016, according to the valuepenguin.com study.

Interstate 10 in Arizona (395 fatal crashes, 483 deaths) was No. 12 and Highway 95 in Mohave County (58 fatal crashes, 75 deaths) came in at No. 33.

The study put Highway 93 as the most dangerous because on the 200-mile road you stand a better chance of “problems,” for instance, compared to I-10 which has higher numbers.

I can see that this is true, having worked in Lake Havasu City (Highway 95) and Kingman (Highway 93) in the early 1990s.

In those years, well before the study’s period, I’ve never seen more fatalities in such a short timeframe.

• PARTING SHOT – Thank you to all of our subscribers this week – for believing in us enough to pay for local, independent journalism, and for your confidence and patience. Thankfully, the system issues with our transition to a subscription-based website have been few.

• PICK OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): Check out the Summer Concert Series offering tonight, July 20, on the courthouse plaza - Llory McDonald & Combo Deluxe perform from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Enjoy!

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.