National Traffic Incident Response Week raises awareness for protecting first responders
Wisconsin DOT reminds the public to slow down and move over
For the Antigo Times
November 14 through 18, 2016, join the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and other organizations across the nation in protecting those who protect us during Traffic Incident Response Week. Emergency responders across the country work tirelessly to help save lives at the scene of traffic incidents. Every year hundreds of emergency responders representing fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, towing and transportation agencies are struck and either injured or killed while responding to these incidents.
From 2014 to 2015, there was an increase of 3.2 percent in the total vehicle miles traveled in the United States, the largest increase since 1992. With more miles traveled, the total number of police-reported traffic crashes increased by 3.8 percent from 2014 to 2015. Additionally, a 7.2-percent increase in incident fatalities is the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. With an increasing number of incidents requiring emergency response, it is imperative that we work together to ensure that our emergency responders are able to do their jobs safely, so we do not continue to add to the number of injuries or fatalities.
There are steps motorists can take to help keep first responders safe.
- Slow down and move over when passing an incident scene to provide a protective buffer for responders and the motorists behind you.
- If you can steer it, clear it. Many drivers think they should not move their car if they are involved in a fender-bender or crash. If (and only if) your car is drivable and there are no injuries, you should move your car to the shoulder or nearby safe place off of the road.
- Know your state’s laws about what to do in a traffic incident.
The week was designated by the Federal Highway Administration, with administration and support from the TIM Network. The goal of the TIM Network is to connect traffic incident management (TIM) professionals to provide a forum to discuss developing issues of national interest, keep practitioners apprised of the latest industry information, and garner important input from practitioners.
TIM consists of a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to and clear traffic incidents, so traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible. Effective TIM reduces the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims and emergency responders.
Wisconsin recognizes the importance of TIM in maintaining the operational safety and efficiency of the state’s roadways. In 1995, the state initiated the Traffic Incident Management Enhancement (TIME) Program, which is a comprehensive multi-agency, multi-discipline program led by WisDOT, dedicated to:
- Improving responder safety
- Enhancing the safe, quick clearance of traffic incidents
- Supporting prompt, reliable, interoperable communications
For more information on WisDOT’s TIM practices, visit our website.