Police remind people to move off the road in the event of an accident

A busy intersection or road will have accident eventually, and when it does happen, there's a lot going on...sometimes making it harder for emergency crews to get to the scene to help those involved. Auburn police said the people passing by shouldn't be the only ones pulling over to the side off of the road.

Posted: May. 14, 2018 6:08 PM
Updated: May. 17, 2018 11:22 AM

AUBURN, Ind. (WFFT)- Over the years we've always heard to stay put until emergency crews can get to us, but as of late, it's been a challenge in Auburn along one of it's busiest streets.

"Our Seventh Street, which is State Road 8, is our main east and west through town is heavy with traffic, and it backs up to the point where we can't hardly get to the accident scene because of all the traffic," Chief Martin McCoy said.

Amanda Bock recalls an accident happening there not too long ago.

"There was a car crash on Seventh Street. There was an elderly lady and airbags went off. There were a lot of people that came out of restaurants and stores, but no one really pulled over to help her, and there was also another lady who was having a panic attack in the other car," Bock said.

Chief McCoy is reminding drivers if you can pull over to the side of the road or in a parking lot, definitely do that.

"It just makes a very congested problem for us so if we can get them to move off the road into a parking lot, it clears up that traffic flow."

Sometimes there are situations where you can't move your vehicle like the car being disabled, or you're injured, and can't move it or you panic like the elderly lady bock mentioned.

Indiana Code 9-26-1-1.2 actually calls for motorists involved in an accident to pull to the side when it is safely possible.

The code states:

If, after an operator of a motor vehicle is involved in an accident, the operator's motor vehicle comes to a stop in the traveled portion of a highway, the operator shall, as soon as safely possible, move the motor vehicle off the traveled portion of the highway and to a location as close to the accident as possible. However, the operator shall not move the motor vehicle if the accident:

Involves the transportation of hazardous materials
OR

Results in injury or death of a person or the entrapment of a person in a vehicle

A person who violates this subsection commits a Class C infraction.

If this isn't the case, you're still at risk of facing consequences by law, but McCoy said move the vehicle off the roadway if you can.

"We're not there to penalize people. They've already had a penalty. They've been in an accident, which is going to cost them a lot of money to begin with," McCoy said.

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