Making the seconds count in traffic incident response

Troopers looks to improve accident clean-up

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Seconds often matter during a traffic incident. First responders from both North and South Carolina met in Rock Hill Thursday to join a nationwide training effort.

"The goal nationwide is to train 100,000 first responders by December 31 this year," said Mike Bowman with the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Bowman helped lead the sessions and says proper incident response can cut down on further damage or injury.

"Preventing secondary collisions seems to be one of the points we want to drive home today," said Bowman.

South Carolina Highway Patrol reports nearly one out of five secondary collisions causes a death. Responders estimate that every minute of a blocked lane causes five minutes of congestion and the longer the lane stays blocked the higher the chances of a secondary wreck.

"You, as a driver (involved in an accident), have a responsibility to move your vehicle out of the travel ways if there are no injuries," said Bowman.

Bowman says technology is critically important not only for first responders to get information to each other, but also for the public to know how to react to accidents.

"There's a mobile app for that if you have a Google Operating System or IOS for an iPhone, it's a free app through SCDOT; it gives someone in the motoring public to see our message boards, see real time incidents as well as view traffic cameras," said Bowman.

The responders also collaborated about positioning when responding to an incident and how to properly shield each other from secondary crashes.


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