Traffic Incident Management A systematic, planned and coordinated use of resources to reduce the impact of incidents, and improve the safety of motorists, crash victims and incident responders
What is an Incident? “A traffic incident is an emergency road user occurrence, a natural disaster, or other unplanned event that affects or impedes the normal flow of traffic.” (MUTCD Chapter 6I)
#1 Issue-Responder Safety • 15,000 Responder Vehicles Struck Nationwide Every Year* • More Than 10,000 Responder Injuries Annually* *Source: No. Central TX Council of Govts
Incidents – the problem • An event that causes a reduction of roadway capacity. • Examples: Traffic crashes, vehicle fires, disabled vehicles, construction zones, traffic stops and special events (NASCAR races, concerts, sporting events) • Do we become part of the problem or the solution to the problem? • Limited Exposure is the key to success.
Traffic Related Fatalities: Police“Officers Down Memorial Page”
Traffic Related Fatalities: Fire“NIOSH: Firefighter Fatality Case Studies”
Effects of Congestion – Capacity(US DOT study November 2000)
“Secondary Incidents” • ~20% of all incidents • Likelihood increases 2.8% each minute • In Pennsylvania: TIM decreased secondary incidents on highways 40% between 1993 and 1997
“Reduce Congestion Delay” • 1 minute of lane blockage equals 4 minutes of delay per driver – 10 minutes of a road closure equals 40 minutes of congestion • Reducing Congestion Mitigation is a US DOT and FWHA Priority
Why are we concerned? Freight Mobility Economic Impact $1 Trillion per year cost for delays $200 Billion loss due to accidents and fatalities $8 Billion to Trucking Industry • Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) • In 2004 Idled Trucks (cost to industry) • 243 million hours • 7.8 billion dollars (passed on to consumers)
Limit our Exposure Address the safety of responders, victims and other motorists Alleviate congestion Clear the roadway by applying quick clearance techniques Traffic stops shall be better planned Proper position of vehicles Discipline the use of emergency lights Use traffic control devices Follow the MUTCD Utilize traffic advisories Utilize a observer What is the solution?
Players in the game • Fire/EMS Departments • Police Departments • Tow and Recovery agencies • Department of Transportation • Media
Fire/EMS Departments • Address fire and other potential hazards • Render medical aid to injured victims • Reduce exposure by staging equipment • Keep lanes open if safe • Communicate expectations to other responders • Set-up Initial Zones
Fire/EMS Departments cont…Limiting our exposure: • Know the weather conditions • Initiate tow/recovery units at the scene • Remove vehicles from roadway • Take persons to a safe waiting location • Communicate/Coordinate/Cooperate with other emergency responders
Police Departments • Traffic control: set up initial traffic zones • Crash Investigation • Initiate tow/recovery operations • Relocate vehicles off the roadway • Implement quick clearance practices • Use technology to increase efficiency
Police Departments cont… • Choose good locations for traffic stops • Relocate traffic stops when secured • Relocate property damage traffic crashes • Communicate needs to dispatch and other responding units • Communicate/Coordinate/Cooperate with other emergency responders
Towing/Recovery agencies • Provide services for removal of vehicles and debris • Keep lanes of traffic unobstructed • Participate as responders at incidents • Utilize resources to impact duration of incident
Towing/Recovery agencies cont… • Provide training to other emergency responders • Provide equipment and capability list to other agencies • Set-up traffic control measures at all incidents • Communicate/Coordinate/Cooperate with other emergency responders
Transportation Departments • Provide traffic control for major incidents or events • Develop alternate routes for major incidents or events • Maintain communication links with media • Provide for roadway repairs and maintenance • Communicate/Coordinate/Cooperate with other emergency responders
Media • Provide information to other travelers • Update information for motorists approaching scene • Broadcast alternate routes to minimize impact in immediate area of incident
Pre-planning and coordinating • Interdisciplinary cross training brings a better understanding of how we work together • Unified Command brings fire, police, towing and DOT together to make informed decisions • Debriefing sessions help to identify strengths and weaknesses leading to the creation of best practices
Test detection devices and determine how verification will be made Anticipate significant events and meet with all agencies to define roles Rehearse response Stage equipment Pre-plan diversion route Best practices: Pre-incident
Best practices – at the scene • Linear response leaves lanes open • Use traffic control devices/Reflective Vests • Share responsibilities • Communication is the key • Provide the public with information
Best practices… • Discipline the use of emergency lighting • Attend joint training sessions • Recognize and incorporate technological assistance • Keep the scene safe for all involved • Review and improve
6I General Guidance: 4. Estimation Responders should within 15 minutes of arrival: • Estimate the magnitude of the incident, • Estimate the expected time duration of the incident, • Estimate the expected vehicle queue length, • Establish “Unified Command” if applicable • Set-up appropriate TTC for the estimates
Temporary Traffic Control Zones • Minor Incident – expected duration under thirty minutes: Stalled cars, traffic stops, medical emergency, minor crash, car fire • Intermediate Incident – expected duration 30 minutes to two hours: Crash w/ Entrapment, minor hazardous materials spill, criminal investigation • Major Incident – expected duration more than two hours: Major hazardous materials spills, vehicle recovery operation, fatals, criminal investigation (reckless homicides)
Minor Incidents: (Less than 30 minutes) Safe Positioning Advanced Warning Establish initial block with 1st arriving emergency vehicle Establish a Temporary Traffic Control Zone Use additional resources to redirect the flow of moving traffic Move incident to shoulder as quickly as possible Establish advanced warning utilizing arrow sticks, vehicle lighting, positioning and/or signs Set up transition zones utilizing channeling devices Responders should be trained in Traffic Incident Management (TIM)
Intermediate Incidents: (30 minutes to 2 hours) Safe Positioning Advanced Warning Follow Minor Incident requirements Establish greater buffer and transition zones Position advanced warning signs and/or cones further upstream Qualified flaggers or uniformed police officers for manual traffic control • Establish an initial block with first arriving emergency vehicle • Establish a Temporary Traffic Control Zone • Use additional resources to redirect the flow of moving traffic
Major Incidents: (Greater than2 hours) Safe Positioning Advanced Warning Follow Other Incident requirements Establish more permanent traffic control devices Position advanced warning signs upstream DOT should become involved for signs and channeling devices • Establish an initial block with first arriving emergency vehicle • Establish a Temporary Traffic Control Zone • Use additional resources to redirect the flow of moving traffic
Activity Area Tapers Work/Buffer Zones Early Warning Termination Area
6C.06 Activity Area The activity area is the section of the highway where the work activity takes place. It is comprised of the • Work space. • The traffic space. • The buffer space.
6C.06 Activity Area • Work space: portion of highway closed to road users and set aside for workers and equipment. • Traffic space: portion of the highway in which road users are routed through activity area • Buffer space: lateral and/or longitudinal that separates road users flow from the work space. • A “Spotter”should be used in this area to be the eyes and ears of the workers.
6C.08 Tapers CRASH • Tapers may be used in both the transition (upstream) and termination (downstream) areas. • Tapers are created by using a series of channelizing devices and/or pavement markings to move traffic out of or into the normal path.
6C.07 Termination Area • The termination area shall be used to return road users to their normal path. • The termination area shall extend from the downstream end of the work area to the last TTC device such as END ROAD WORK signs, if posted.
Utilization of Traffic Control Devices • Pre-warning sign properly placed • Use of Traffic Cones • Apparatus used as a “block”
Utilization of Traffic Control DevicesUsing skip lines to determine distances “10 – 30” Skip for lane dividing lines: 10 ft. 30 ft. 10 ft. 40 ft.
Utilizing the “Block and Shadow” • A “block” is a piece of equipment that is used to protect workers in the work area from flowing traffic • A “shadow area” is the area immediately downstream of the block where workers are working that offers some protection for emergency responders and victims from flowing traffic
Utilizing the “Block and Shadow” • We need to establish the block early into the incident • Once the block is established, responders should operate in the shadow area • Ensure the block is not too far from the work area • DONOT give them a space to fit in your area!!
Why we need to utilize“Block and Shadow”N.C. Paramedic struck, loses legs at Crash Scene
If this is how you position apparatus and allow your personnel to operate while working in or near moving traffic….. You could be next on the LODD list!!!