SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Next week is Crash Responder Safety Week. Emergency responders and law enforcement agencies are reminding drivers to be safe.
Lieutenant Jamie Burks of the Republic Police Department stated, “We have had a few (serious crashes) here recently. We have had two fatalities on Highway 60 this year. Those take a significant amount of time to work.
Law enforcement agencies know how risky it can be on the side of the roadways.
Burks said, “Obviously our primary goal first and foremost is to make sure everyone is safe and that includes us, the firefighters, tow truck drivers.” He added, “The key is to move over. Slow down. Get off your cell phone. Just go through the accident as smoothly as possible.”
MoDOT says traffic congestion is a growing problem, and most of it is related to things like crashes, stalled vehicles, and debris. To reduce delays and improve safety, it is teaming up with the highway patrol for the Missouri Open Roads Agreement.
It sets a new goal of clearing crash scenes, when possible, within 90 minutes of first responders getting there. It could help with long traffic tie-ups while at the same time getting crews off the roadways sooner also reducing the risk.
The agreement, which is set to be signed on Monday by MoDOT and Missouri State Highway Patrol, will apply to the state agencies. However, local law enforcement organizations are joining in the reminder for everyone to drive safely.
Burks explained, “We live in a world that is moving quickly and everybody is in a hurry. Just slow down. Buckle up, phone down. Just be patient. If there is an accident and you are stuck in traffic just stay calm and know that we are doing the best to get the road cleared as well.”