Slow Down, Phone Down

Slow Down, Phone Down

Slow Down Phone Down Logo

What is Slow Down, Phone Down?

Slow Down, Phone Down is a statewide work zone safety campaign urging drivers to slow down and put their phone down when entering a work zone. Not only are these the two most important measures we can take to prevent accidents in work zones, but speeding and/or using your phone in a work zone are illegal. Fines for traffic violations are doubled in work zones when workers are present.

Keep yourself safe, keep our road crews safe, and avoid getting a costly citation by slowing down and putting your phone down.

Working to reduce work zone crashes and injuries.

From 2018-2021, work zone crashes rose by more than 70%.

In 2021, there were a total of 2,140 work zone crashes statewide, resulting in 16 fatalities and 54 suspected serious injuries.

ARDOT got to work on a plan to reverse this alarming trend.

In early 2022, the Slow Down, Phone Down work zone safety campaign was launched as a partnership between ARDOT, Arkansas Highway Police, and Arkansas State Police.

Funded by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant money, ARDOT developed TV and radio commercials as well as static advertisements that ran on most available platforms.

The campaign was so well-received that it has continued to receive NHTSA grant funding annually, allowing us to continue to produce ads and promote work zone safety year after year.

Additionally, in 2023, the Arkansas State Legislature legalized the use of speed enforcement cameras in Interstate work zones. A law enforcement officer must be present to issue a warning or citation. The speed enforcement cameras allow an officer to be positioned at the end of a work zone, use the camera to observe violations within the work zone, and safely pull over the violator as they exit the work zone. The camera eliminates the need for an officer to be physically positioned within a work zone, freeing up resources and increasing safety. The use of speed enforcement cameras in Interstate work zones has already yielded positive results and is another way to supplement our work zone safety efforts.

What are the rules of driving in a work zone?

The following rules apply when workers are present in a work zone:

Double Fine Icon

Fines double. If a driver receives a citation for any moving traffic violation in a work zone, they will pay double the fine. A moving traffic violation includes speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, and more.

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Leave your phone alone. Does holding your phone to take a phone call, send a text, look up directions, or scroll social media count as a moving traffic violation? Yes. Hands-free connections are a much safer option.

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How do I know the work zone speed limit? When approaching a work zone, you will see orange barrels, cones, road work signs, etc. indicating that you are entering a work zone. At this point, you can safely assume the speed limit will be significantly reduced from what it was previously. Slow down, put your phone down, and watch for posted speed limit signs.

How does the campaign work?

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In February 2022, Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Highway Police began deploying more marked and low-profile patrol vehicles to work zones across the state to crack down on reckless and distracted driving.

When an officer observes someone speeding, following too close, using their phone, or distracted driving in a work zone, the person will be pulled over and cited. This is a zero-tolerance campaign. The rules are simple: slow down, phone down.

Television ad

Radio ads

In Remembrance of ARDOT Employees Lost In Work Zones…

Orange Remembrance Ribbon

Clarance P. Hobson • 6/13/1972
James A. Camp • 12/12/1972
Walter I. Gage • 6/19/1972
Chester W. Darden • 9/6/1974
Daniel T. Dannelley • 6/23/1978
Whipple H. Fields • 5/7/1979
Oleather Swanigan, Jr. • 5/7/1979
Robert L. Andrews • 2/25/1980
Wesley Carroll Biggers • 1/28/1981
J. A. Ralls • 3/21/1984
R. O. Young • 7/31/1985
Lee O. Williams • 5/12/1987
Marvin R. Sullivan • 9/12/1989
Lesley R. South • 12/23/1991

Glenn E. Page • 10/21/1996
Benny Malone • 8/21/1998
Jerome Harris • 1/16/2007
Bruce Fick • 6/24/2008  
Joseph Vaughn Pierson • 5/4/2011
Anderson D. Williams • 6/2/2011
Anthony Donta King • 11/17/2013
John William Garner • 8/5/2014
John E. Barefield • 9/17/2014
James Kirk Watts • 4/9/2018
Kurt Cottier • 12/19/2021
Winfred Petty • 1/19/2022
Timothy Harris, Jr. • 5/8/2023

Contact for media inquiries or questions:
Ellen Coulter, ARDOT Media Communications Manager

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