Lynchburg, VA brings out portable speed bumps to protect first responders

The Lynchburg Fire Department in Virginia has decided to take steps to protect first responders working on the side of the road. They have recently bought portable speed bumps, which can be brought to the scene of an accident or emergency and rolled out across the road to encourage people to slow down. They roll up to fit into a pouch that can be easily taken to accident scenes, and then the portable speed bump is simply unrolled across a lane.

The goal is to increase safety for firefighters and first responders that arrive at accident scenes and have to work along the side of the road. Many states have Slow Down, Move Over laws that obligate drivers to either change lanes or slow down when they approach an emergency vehicle that is flashing its lights,  but there are plenty of drivers who don’t heed them. And that can result in tragedies along the roadside when emergency personnel – including tow truck drivers – get struck by cars. (Sgt. Josh Collins of the Lynchburg Police Department shared that a police officer was directing traffic when he was struck just last year.)

It’s such a serious problem that some states, including Alabama and Iowa, have taken steps to expand their Slow Down, Move Over laws.

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Captain Jennifer Collins of the Lynchburg Fire Department got the city to purchase the portable speed bumps, and she says that they needed something to make people more aware and give first responders more room to do their work. She explained that she’s heard the speed bumps are effective from other firefighters who have had the chance to use them.

The speed bumps are also easy to use. It doesn’t take much time to set up the portable speed bump, and they could make a huge difference when it comes to slowing people down and saving lives.

The portable speedbumps are a way of improving safety for emergency personnel who work along the side of the road, as they make drivers pay attention and – hopefully – slow down. The plan in Lynchburg is to start training with the new speed bumps and then equip all fire trucks with them.

It only takes one look at the Wall of the Fallen to see how serious an issue Slow Down, Move Over is. Towing is often a dangerous job, but these portable speed bumps will hopefully help first responders and tow truck operators by slowing down traffic. By forcing people to pay attention and be alert as they’re passing emergency vehicles, these speed bumps could reduce the chance of emergency personnel being struck while they’re trying to help others. It will be interesting to see what happens in Lynchburg as a result of the use of the portable speed bumps.

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