According to the Alaska Department of Transportation, major-injury crashes are down an average of 41% in designated “Safety Corridors” which are marked by orange-and-white signs along sections of the four major state highways.
Central Region Traffic and Safety Engineer Scott Thomas said major-injury crashes – which are crashes that incapacitate the driver with broken bones, serious burns or deep cuts that need hospitalization -- are a better indicator of overall safety on the roads
The safety corridor program was implemented after state legislators pushed for more safety along some of Alaska’s busiest roadways.
The model isn’t new or overly technical. The first safety corridors were installed in California and Washington state in the early 1990s and Oregon in 2001.
There are four corridors: the Seward Highway from Potter Marsh to just outside Girdwood, the 10 miles of the Sterling Highway from milepost 83 to 93, the Parks Highway from milepost 44 to 53 outside Wasilla and 17 miles of Knik-Goose Bay Road in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. The areas were selected because of their high rate of injuries and high-profile fatalities.
The purpose of the safety corridors is to raise public awareness of highway safety through signs and education, additional fines for not adhering to speed limits and increased enforcement.
In 2014, DOT reported only three fatal crashes in the corridors.