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Re: Highway Safety ... NO NEED to Worry ? ?


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Here in the big city, I drove past two traffic collisions and one motor cop on a vehicle stop ... all on two area highways some 80-miles apart. On each incident were first-responders with highway patrol, fire and paramedic vehicles blocking or positioned for patient care or motorist contact. In each of these locations, I watched LE and rescue personnel walking with backs to traffic and dangerously close to flowing traffic. In no disrespect to responders working highway incidents, I have to ask if there's a mindset that suggests, once blocker trucks or police vehicles are situated; is there no danger of being struck? I’m curious … what good is TIM training if the message of on-scene safety isn’t applied? And, from my TIM instructor course, I remember a CHP sergeant who commented about TIM, ... "We don't do it that way."        R.   

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Randall C. Resch

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It is complacency combined with the "shield of invincibility" there lights and blocker vehicles provide. I suppose it is the same for other highway workers, as I often see construction and maintenance crews doing the same thing with only a line of traffic cones separating them from traffic flowing at 55+ MPH. I imagine we all become comfortable with danger to some extent which leads to letting our guard down and injury or death.


As for your CHP Sgt., sadly so many agencies share his sentiment -the official training protocols are just that, official protocols not how things are done "in the real world". It is this mindset that must change to affect the other mindset of becoming comfortable (read complacent) being in close proximity to traffic. I liken it to the DOT regulatory compliance training I provide where my clients often comment "that's nice and all but how do I get around those rules?" whereas they are really just looking for the grey area (shortcut zone) to play in rather than being truly safe and compliant. Yes, I realize that compliance does not always equal safety but it is a great place to start!

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It's complacency mixed with a little bit of tunnel vision. They're in that position so often they forget what the consequences are and that there is danger out there seperated only by some cones and maybe a fire truck. Add to that the urgency of patients on need of care, fluid leaks in vehicles to be mitigated and an investigation to be completed, and you quickly lose focus on the danger.

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