BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — First responders across the state are working together to make sure traffic accidents are handled consisently and cleared off the roadway quickly and safely. It's all part of the new statewide Traffic Incident Management Program or (TIM). Louisiana State Police, DOTD workers, and other first responders are part of the program.
"The public could careless the color of our uniform the shape of our badge. They just want to know when something happens that we are trained, and we are going to get the right personnel up there," Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent, said.
The goal is to train anyone responding to a crash to know what their role is, and how to assess a traffic incident scene quickly. That way the right responders and equipment get to the scene, and they can cut down the amount of time traffic gets clogged.
"This is about managing an incident putting everybody on the same sheet of music and making sure they understand what we are ultimately trying to do," Edmonson said. "It's about public safety. It's about saving a human life. It's about getting people in and out of an area as soon as possible."
State police officials said, "The TIM program is critical to limiting first responders' exposure time on roadways which will decrease secondary fatal and injury crashes that occur as a result of an initial traffic incident."
Drivers say they like the idea of the new program.
"It's only going to alleviate traffic, and it's probably going to alleviate other people getting in the same accidents," Marco Galvez, commuter, said. "Anything that is going to help alleviate any of that is going to be positive."
"I think it's a good step forward to you know make commuting easier and the road ways safer," Daniel Duhon, driver, said.
First responders will also work to better let drivers know about traffic troubles on the roads and what detour routes to take.
"We also hope to provide more accurate information to the public which will enable them to make informed decisions on utilizing alternate routes. The system's outcome should also reduce the time frame of roadway closures and disruptions," Edmonson said.
"I definitely think it will educate us and help us determine better ways to help get us where we need to go," Ronette Howard, driver, said.
Louisiana State Police officials say LSP "will be training every trooper across the state, including a multitude of other law enforcement agencies and incident responders."
"The TIM program is a nationwide initiative driven by the Federal Highway Administration with a goal of training over 50,000 incident responders by December 2014. Currently, 33 states have implemented the program ," LSP officials said.