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Vehicle accidents on freeway

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  • Vehicle accidents on freeway

    As a retired LEO from California and living in Washington, I have a serious question. What takes the State Patrol soooo long to clear an accident on the freeways. I was amazed when I first moved here and am still puzzled at the length of time it takes.

    Any explanations?

    Thanks
    Retired

  • #2
    Not sure I follow. I think the State Patrol here does a very good job. They've even been known to draw the ire of EMS for constantly trying to clear an accident TOO quickly.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nathan571 View Post
      Not sure I follow. I think the State Patrol here does a very good job. They've even been known to draw the ire of EMS for constantly trying to clear an accident TOO quickly.
      Too quickly? I guess I am just comparing the time it takes for State Patrol to clear the freeway to how long it takes CHP. Yep, I think State Patrol does a good job except for the length of time they take to clear accidents and get traffic moving again.

      Not criticizing them, just curious.
      Retired

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      • #4
        From what I've seen, they will sometimes pull a blocking vehicles across the pavement on its side rather than take the time to get it on a flatbed while it's blocking.

        Any fatal collision will take hours to clear, because they won't move anything until a collision tech responds to the scene and completes their on-scene investigation. They might choose to do that with collisions with life-threatening injuries as well.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WombatVengeance View Post
          From what I've seen, they will sometimes pull a blocking vehicles across the pavement on its side rather than take the time to get it on a flatbed while it's blocking.

          Any fatal collision will take hours to clear, because they won't move anything until a collision tech responds to the scene and completes their on-scene investigation. They might choose to do that with collisions with life-threatening injuries as well.
          That may be the reason except I have been at scenes where t there are no injuries and it takes a couple of hours for them to get traffic moving again.

          Again, I am not criticizing them, just curious because where I worked we cleared the roadway as quickly as possible.
          Retired

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          • #6
            In the year I have lived in WA, I have noticed that people are more relaxed here compared to where I am from. People have less sense of urgency when doing things. I too have noticed the response time of the State Patrol on crashes. Back where I am from (MN), Troopers get to crashes as soon as they can. One Trooper told me every crash costs money, not with the vehicles and people involved, but with everyone else on the freeways. If a tractor trailer is delayed even a few minutes on their delivery, it costs someone money because the product gets to the final destination late.

            Why are there SO many drivers here that camp in the left lane? If you don't want to drive 60 in a 60, then drive in the right lane. People drive five to ten miles under the speed limit in the left lane, WHY? And when I go to pass in the right lane, a lot of drivers in the left lane speed up. I guess they think it is funny.....

            Please read the freeway signs, "slower traffic keep right".

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            • #7
              AR,

              That is a valid issue. Backed up or slow traffic does interfere with commerce. But of greater significance is that it poses a risk of additional accidents. People slowing, being stuck in stop and go traffic, or rubbernecking because of an accident have an increased risk of being involved in an accident that can result not only in property damage, but in great bodily injury or death. That's why there is such a push to clear accidents off of freeways and major highways as quickly as possible.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                Some good reading here about roadway incidents...

                http://www.respondersafety.com/
                My comments are my personal opinion and are based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice in any form as I am not an attorney. Should you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!

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                • #9
                  Something that I know is different in Washington state as compared to (at least some) other states is that our troopers are not dispatched individually to calls... a call comes out, and an available trooper in the area is expected to put their number on it. It is an honor system sort of thing. So sometimes (and I have experienced this from doing many rides with troopers) you get a trooper who is relatively close but waits to see if someone else nabs the call first. And other times you just, quite frankly, get troopers who don't want to deal with it or take their time (which then keep in mind as traffic backs up from the accident... they have to try and get through it too). All in all though I think Washington State Patrol does a bang-up job around here for sure.

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                  • #10
                    Not saying the State Patrol doesn't do a good job, just maybe a different way of doing things.

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