Support Quick Clearance of Roadway Incidents Using Traffic Incident Management Practices
Submitted by: Highway Safety Committee
WHEREAS, law enforcement personnel are frequently first responders to traffic incidents and often act as scene commanders; and
WHEREAS, highway transportation incidents represent one of the leading causes of on-duty death and injury to first responders, including being struck by vehicles while working along the roadway or being exposed to unpredictable environmental factors; and
WHEREAS, most recent U.S. data indicate:
- 20,000 responders are injured at crash scenes every year16
- In 2019, 44 responders (18 LEOs) were killed17
- Traffic incidents account for 25 percent of all congestion on roadways18
- Almost 20 percent of all crashes are secondary to another incident;19
WHEREAS, traffic incidents often exacerbate traffic congestion and result in secondary vehicle crashes and increased danger to the public, and quick clearance of roadway incidents is important to preventing further incidents; and
WHEREAS, each law enforcement agency should decide upon the methodology to protect traffic incident scenes and clearance of those scenes without compromising the integrity of an investigation; and
WHEREAS, unplanned roadway events, staffing considerations, weather, terrain, and numerous other factors vary from incident to incident and make impractical typical applications, prescribed responses to, and mitigation of unplanned roadway incidents; and
WHEREAS, law enforcement agencies currently receive training in incident management, crash investigation, and roadway clearance; and
WHEREAS, "typical traffic incident management applications" are templates that may be adapted to myriad situations; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) supports law enforcement agencies receiving training and using Traffic Incident Management (TIM) applications for unplanned traffic incidents; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP supports and participates with the Federal Highway Administration as a part of the Traffic Incident Management Executive Leadership Group (TIM ELG); and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP supports law enforcement agencies exploring the use of typical traffic incident management applications for unplanned traffic incidents, but opposes their inclusion in policies such as the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to prevent their being interpreted as standards rather than as guidelines; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP encourages law enforcement agencies to commit sufficient resources to the planning and coordination process intended to aid in quick clearance strategies and TIM curriculum; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP encourages law enforcement agencies to commit to the training goals, such as the one described by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration TIM program and provide sufficient resources to the planning and coordination process intended to aid in quick clearance strategies and traffic incident management.
16 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Un-Jamming Traffic: Driving Toward Safer, Quicker Clearance of Traffic Incidents (Alexandria, VA: IACP, 2020).
17 Jack Sullivan, 2019 ERSI Struck by Vehicles Fatalities Report (Harrisburg, PA: Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association Emergency Responder Safety institute, 2019).