Editor's note: Mr. Andrews is a former OPP traffic inspector. He writes in response to two previous letters on this issue, Why are highway closures so long? and Many reasons why lengthy closure of highways after accidents.
Good morning Jeff:
I read the original letter from Mr. Sauders and the follow-up letter from Mr. Gai. I read these with some trepidation having been the brunt of many a disgruntled motorist over the course of my career.
I have had disgruntled motorists call my desk, and confront me at crash scenes. I have had people actually say, "just bulldoze the wrecks".
There are so many reasons why crash response, investigation and cleanup take time. Yes, there is the response time to the crash, there is the time involved in adequately investigating what happened at the scene, and there is often quite a bit of time cleaning up the crash to make the roadway safe to drive on.
All of these things can take time. If the crash is a personal injury crash that has life-altering impacts on a person, we have to ensure we as the police get the facts correct for that person's future. If there is a fatal we have the responsibility to ensure we get the facts right to identify the contributing factors.
We have to make sure oil, fuel, and contaminants are dealt with properly. There are the vehicles, conditions of the road etc. There is so much to collision investigations that people do not consider.
All of the responders, Police, EMS, Fire, HazMat, Vehicle Recovery, etc are working as quickly and as safely as we can to open the road. We know there are risks within the que of collisions from people doing risky driving maneuvers or impatience.
Every time, I hear of a collision or come upon one my immediate concerns are for the wel-being of the people involved, including the First Responders. I do everything I can to not complicate an already complex situation, I wish others would automatically do so as well.
Traffic Inspector (Ret)