August 24, 2015
CONTACT: Lindsey Wiles Communications Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 770-794-5509
MARIETTA - Throughout the months of July and August, two of Marietta's Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Trainers delivered the Georgia Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder Training Program to area emergency responders. The audience included members of Marietta Fire, Marietta Wrecker, Rural Metro Ambulance, and Cherokee Fire. Congress authorized SHRP 2 in 2005 to investigate the underlying causes of highway crashes and congestion in a short-term program of research that focused on safety, reliability, renewal, and capacity.
In the United States in 2013, there were 30,057 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes resulting in 32,719 fatalities (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015). Three injury crashes occur every minute in the United States Back-up from these incidents often causes secondary crashes that can increase travelers' delay and frustration. When all responders, including fire, medical, law enforcement, HERO, and towing are using the same terminology and principles, they work more efficiently together and increase the speed of roadway clearance.
The new coordinated, multi-disciplinary training program developed through the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) is now available for all emergency responders and those supporting Traffic Incident Management operations. The training puts police, firefighters, state and local departments of transportation, towing, medical personnel, and other incident responders on the same page, leading to a safer, faster, integrated responder team.
The goal of traffic incident management is to decrease incident response and clearance times in order to improve safety of motorists and traffic incident responders, reduce congestion and delay on our roadways, and improve the quality of life in our community by lessening the overall impacts of traffic incidents.
Know and obey Georgia's laws that apply to you when you encounter or are involved in a traffic incident.
Georgia Code 40-6-16 requires you to move over to the next lane if safely possible, or slow down below the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop.
This applies to any roadway workers, including police officers, paramedics, firefighters, wrecker operators, and HERO workers. Violations can result in a fine of no more than $500 for your first offense (http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/highway-safety/move-over-law/#sthash.s1Wen8zI.dpuf)
Georgia 40-6-275 requires the driver or any licensed occupant of a vehicle involved in a traffic accident to remove the vehicle from the immediate confines of the roadway. Penalties for failing to do so include 3 points on your driver's license.
Georgia Code 32-6-2 authorizes State or local law enforcement officers and authorized fire department officials, if there is a threat to public health/safety or to mitigate traffic congestion, to remove any obstruction, cargo, or personal property which is abandoned, unattended, or damaged as a result of a vehicle accident. This action can occur with or without the consent of the owner.
By knowing these laws and following them, you will go a long way in contributing to the quick, safe clearance of traffic incidents that contribute to our area's traffic congestion.