D. Gary Davis
There is a recent popular song in which the artist Beyoncé sings "To The Left, To The Left” that many have found an uncanny ability to try and sing along with when they hear. While this has been and is still a popular song I would like to remind us all about the importance of proper emergency traffic etiquette to follow that might just save a life of a fellow citizen or possibly even a family member.
I am not asking for anyone to deny themselves with their choice of music or style but I am asking that we ALL remember that we SHARE the road with many others each and every day. This fact requires that we all remember that we are not sitting in our living room or at a concert venue and volume level and limited driver distractions are a must when it comes to safe and defensive driving skills that we must acquire and maintain to be a safe driver.
Some may have noticed the changes that have occurred with emergency sirens over the years with the addition of differing tones and the ability to send pulses of tones to improve visibility and situational awareness of emergency traffic. These have become necessary due to the improved soundproofing of newer cars and trucks that make the driving experience quieter but also for those who enjoy their music at levels of sound that would send most of us to a specialist for evaluation and treatment.
The need for this information is always present but was brought to my attention again most recently by my assistant, Lindsay L. Hathcock, after leaving to pick up one of his children after school this past week. This seemingly regular task was quickly changed into an emergency situation when unknown to him, approximately 1 mile ahead of him on Georgetown Road a school bus was involved in an accident, when they were ran off of the road in an attempt to avoid a "head on” collision with another car. He related that you could tell there was something wrong with the number of our wonderful emergency personnel that were attempting to get to the scene, and the difficulty that they were experiencing in navigating through the maze of drivers. Some citizen drivers went left (into oncoming traffic themselves), some went to the right and some even just stopped in the middle of the road!
When he was able to get to the scene, he was able to stop and give assistance to the incident command by helping to divert traffic away from those who were evaluating and providing treatment and transportation to those who were injured. 98% of all who were traveling along this road during this time were very kind, cooperative and understanding of the need for this small delay in their commute. But he also got to witness some who make up the other 2% that our professional Emergency, Fire, Law Enforcement, School Professionals and Local Helpful Business Owners were exposed to that day (and every day). These people, while seeing a Fire Truck, 5 Ambulances, Multiple Law Enforcement, School Administrators, Board Members and the Director of Schools, Emergency Tape and all the emergency lights, were so upset that they had to slow down and have a slight detour, that they took the time to personally express their displeasure with unkind language.
I am thankful for ALL of our Professionals who seek to help, protect and provide care for our citizens. To help them do their job to the best of their ability, please remember the following three ideas:
1) When driving keep all entertainment and distractions to a minimum and at a sound level that will ensure that emergency traffic will and can be heard from a distance away. Please do not text & drive!
2) If you hear, and then see, any and all emergency responders, please Go To The Right, when safe to do so, and allow them to safely pass you on their way to the emergency.
3) Please remember that they are responding to someone in need and we all should want them to get there as soon as possible, to provide care and assistance.
Our prayers continue for those who were injured in this accident. As in all accidents, we appreciate those who have dedicated their lives to helping their fellow citizens. This act of service and dedication is yet another reason that Bradley County is Tennessee at its best!