Nevada Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Coalition held their biannual meeting Tuesday with Winnemucca first responders to discuss traffic incident management in Humboldt County. Topics included new traffic legislation, 2017 Nevada traffic accident and fatalities statistics and the development of a local TIM Coalition responder plan specific to Winnemucca.
The TIM Coalition seeks to improve traffic incident management and safety through training in best practices as well as through providing resources to first responders.
Representatives of Nevada Highway Patrol, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Winnemucca Police Department, Winnemucca Volunteer Fire Department, towing companies and others attended the meeting.
According to Project Manager Pat Gallagher, 210 traffic fatalities have occurred in Nevada so far in 2017. This time last year, 230 people had died in traffic accidents. Humboldt County had two fatal crashes last year, and two so far this year.
Gallagher said the drop in accidents and fatalities is particularly significant because that number had been climbing for 10 years.
Project Coordinator Rita Brohman said one of the major reasons that accidents and fatalities have dropped relates to the rise in TIM Coalition members, including the training involved. In the past 18 months, the TIM Coalition has grown from 400 members to 900.
“There’s a huge difference when we come together, and work together, and we train together,” Brohman said.
One of the main focuses of traffic incident management is to clear the roadways as quickly as possible after an accident. “The longer the roadways are clogged up, the more secondary crashes happen. Then commerce is slowed down. People can’t get to work...it just snowballs,” Gallagher explained.
According to the TIM Coalition website, a secondary accident is “an accident that occurs as a result of congestion or distraction from a prior crash.” Twenty-two percent of crashes are secondary; 18 percent of secondary crashes are fatal.