One crash, then another: ODOT speedily clears roads

ODOT workers train to clear roads after crashes

ODOT road crews train to speedily clear roads from traffic crashes, November 13, 2017 (KOIN)
ODOT road crews train to speedily clear roads from traffic crashes, November 13, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Traffic crashes cause problems every day on Oregon roads, but the danger doesn’t end with the initial crash. There is a considerable threat of a secondary crash.

That’s part of the reason traffic incident management crews are training to clear roads as fast as possible.

Crew members who spoke with KOIN 6 News emphasized speedy cleanup are essential because secondary crashes are so common. On average, a police officer is hit and killed every month responding to a crash, and a tow worker is struck and killed every week.

Stats like these could be getting worse because crashes are on the rise in Oregon. Last year, there was an average of 73 crashes each day on Oregon highways.

“The longer we’re there on the roadway the greater the possibility that we’re going to have a secondary crash or something that’s going to cause further injuries to the people that were involved,” said Sgt. Bryan White with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. “So the faster we can clear an incident and get out of there, the safer it’s going to be for everybody.”

There are steps Oregon drivers can take to make things safer on the roads.

Oregon’s Move It law requires drivers to move over away from a crash when it happens, or slow down to 5 mph. If you don’t, police can and will cite you.

Always pay attention when a crash is in view — and never take out your phone or camera to try and take pictures. It’s not just illegal, it also puts other drivers at risk.