The Nebraska Department of Transportation and the Nebraska State Patrol, along with other roadway safety groups, are hosting three events in November to highlight crash responder safety.
[Above image by Nebraska DOT]
The job of crash responders is not an easy one, the agency stressed, as between January and September some 27 first responders lost their lives nationwide while responding to or working a roadway crash scene. This is a stark reminder of the dangers they face every day while trying to keep roads safe, noted Nebraska DOT in a statement.
Since 2020, Nebraska DOT and the Nebraska State Patrol have collaborated with local first responders across the state, in the greater Omaha metro area and along the I-80 corridor, to develop multi-disciplinary Traffic Incident Management or TIM response groups.
They meet regularly to discuss crashes, best practices in response and develop methods to improve safety for responders, methods to improve quick clearance, and incorporate proven and effective methods to reduce secondary crashes, the agency said. They hope to more broadly share their findings at the public events they are collectively holding in November, Nebraska DOT added.
State departments of transportation are supporting a variety of efforts designed to improve first responder safety.
For example, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is highlighting a new state law that requires all Oklahoma teens to complete a free Oklahoma Work Zone Safe and First Responder Safety online education course before applying for their intermediate driver license.
In August, the Illinois Department of Transportation collaborated with AAA and the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office to evaluate a new tool designed to keep motorists informed during emergency situations.
The Sheriff’s Office is one of three agencies that began implementing a digital alert system in late June; a system that provides early warning notifications to motorists approaching emergency scenes or when emergency vehicles approach vehicles on the road.
Over the next three years, Illinois DOT will invest $250,000 to research the effectiveness of this digital alert system technology and how to increase its use.
That research will evaluate the system’s effectiveness in reducing operating speeds, increasing compliance with “Move Over Law” requirements, and reducing the number of crashes and near-crash instances.