Everyone wins with TIM

Arizona marks National Traffic Incident Management Awareness Week

PHOENIX – The term “Traffic Incident Management” might sound technical. Maybe even a bit boring. And, in practice, TIM is both of those things, which is great for motorists.

TIM is a planned and coordinated process to detect, respond to and remove traffic incidents, like crashes, and restore traffic capacity as safely and quickly as possible. That means TIM techniques and strategies will keep you safer if you’re involved in a crash; protect the professionals responding to crashes; and reduce congestion near incidents that can lead to secondary collisions.

Everyone wins with TIM.

Traffic safety stakeholders, like law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services, departments of transportation, utility crews and tow truck companies, emphasize TIM training for employees who work on roadways. But to achieve peak effectiveness, TIM needs more than trained and certified professionals. It needs buy-in from motorists.

Across the country this week, traffic safety stakeholders are recognizing Traffic Incident Management Awareness Week. In Arizona, motorists will see TIM-themed safety messages on overhead message boards, reminding drivers of the “Move Over” and “Quick Clearance” laws.

Move Over” requires motorists to move over one lane – or slow down if it’s not safe to change lanes – when approaching any vehicle with flashing lights pulled to the side of a road or highway. This includes passenger vehicles flashing hazard lights.

“Quick Clearance” requires a driver involved in a minor crash without injuries to remove their vehicle from the roadway if it is operable and can be moved safely. “Quick Clearance” improves safety for these groups of people (Spoiler: It’s everyone):

  • Drivers and passengers involved in the non-injury collision can inspect their vehicles and exchange insurance information from the shoulder of a highway instead of dangerous travel lanes as cars whizz past.
  • Professionals responding to the incident, like law enforcement and tow truck operators, can do their jobs from the safety of the shoulder, instead of travel lanes.
  • With travel lanes open, the chance for a secondary collision involving other motorists is reduced.

Remember, if you are involved in a crash the first action to take is to make sure you and occupants in your vehicle are OK. Then, if your vehicle is operable, move to the emergency shoulder, median or exit the highway and call 911. Stay out of travel lanes, be alert and watch approaching traffic. Never leave the scene of a crash.