- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Officials say Phoenix-area freeway accidents are being cleared faster because state troopers are working in the state Department of Transportation’s traffic operations center.

The department, the Department of Public Safety, the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Federal Highway Administration in October 2014 began a three-year pilot program to have troopers work in the operations center.

DPS Director Frank Milstead says the pilot project has reduced the time to clear crashes by nearly an hour.

Transportation Director John Halikowski says troopers at the operations center and in the field jointly determine what’s needed to clear specific crash scenes and helps speed up deployment of fire units, ambulances, tow trucks and other resources.

Halikowski says faster clearing of accident scenes also helps reduce the risk of secondary crashes.

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