Authorities advise, “If you are involved in a crash, are uninjured and all vehicles are drivable, involved drivers should move to a safe place completely off the road, be it the next exit or to the parking lot of a business to await law enforcement response for a police report. It is important to remember crashes involving injury or lane blockage receive priority attention ahead of property damage crashes. So, keep in mind, it may be an extended period of time before law enforcement arrives. The reason and purpose for moving drivable vehicles off the road is to avoid secondary crashes of other inattentive motorists crashing into your scene or sideswiping you if you’ve only moved to the side of the road.”
Something else to keep in mind: Crash scenes with vehicles disabled in the roadway and state police presence may have the police vehicle facing the wrong way with emergency lights and headlights on. This is to warn approaching motorists of impending danger.
Remember, Indiana’s Move Over Law states motorists must change lanes away from the emergency or utility vehicle if they can do it safely. If not possible to move away from the emergency vehicle, motorists must slow down and proceed with caution.
Vehicles included in the Move Over Law are police vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks and rescue equipment, highway incident-response and work vehicles (including snow plows) and tow trucks.
The point of not calling police agencies for road information during snow emergencies cannot be overstressed. Calling police departments about road conditions may delay action on critical life emergency 911 calls. Road conditions are likely the same for the area you want to know about as it is looking out a front window.
Citizens calling state police facilities to ask for road conditions will be directed to either call the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Road and Weather automated system at 800-262-7623 or visit the INDOT traffic map at http://indot.carsprogram.org/main.jsf. The 800 phone service is voice activated and updated with timely road conditions across Indiana. The INDOT Web link allows users to check on specific locations for current closures and other road information.
For Indiana County Travel Status Reports, persons may visit www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory.