UHP asks drivers to respect roadside heroes by observing safe driving practices

UHP troopers and other emergency crews responding to fatal crash along US-89/91 in Wellsville, Sept. 22, 2022. (Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety)

LOGAN — This is Crash Responder Safety Week (Nov. 14-18). Crash responders across the nation are coming together this week by teaching each other and the motoring public about their common goal and responsibility for safe, quick roadway clearance. To achieve these goals, everyone must work together and do their part to ensure that everyone goes home safely.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden said troopers work tirelessly with their partners, including firefighters, emergency medical services, law enforcement, towing and recovery, transportation, and safety service patrols. Collectively, these traffic incident responders work to assist motorists in need and apply well-rehearsed procedures to provide emergency traffic control and quickly clear incidents from roadways.

The 2022 Crash Responder Safety Week (CRSW) theme is “Respect Our Roadside Heroes.” The national event is designed to bring attention and promote Slow Down and Move Over awareness for drivers, and free Traffic Incident Management training for responders.

Last Thursday, at about 5:00 am, troopers responded to 3 crashes in the area of Redwood Rd on I-215 South westbound, near Taylorsville. All three crashes were moved out of traffic to the left and right shoulders. The roadway was slick in this area, and drivers did not adjust to the road conditions.

One of the troopers was checking on a crash on the left shoulder when another vehicle lost control and spun to the left, where they hit the barrier and then slid into the back of the trooper’s car. The trooper was not in his car at the time it was struck, and he was not injured.

Roden said, when passing an incident scene, motorists are asked to slow down and, if possible, move over into an adjacent lane to provide a protective buffer for responders and the motorists behind them.

Local responders are also being encouraged to take the free National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder training to stay updated on best practices: http://bitly.com/TIMtrain. More than 600,000 responders have been trained to date through free in-person, online instructor-led, or online self-paced curriculum. Far more have yet to be TIM trained.

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