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TIME Coalition Goals Survey

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At the August 2014 meeting, the short and long term goals of the Coalition were discussed.  It was recommended that those goals be ranked in the level of their priority to Coalition member organizations. Please complete this survey by January 23.  To take the survey please click  here

Driver Charged with Felony Homicide in Death of Tow Truck Driver

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Nathan Walsh, 38, of Osseo was in the process of hooking up a vehicle that had broken down when he was hit and killed by a pickup truck Monday morning.

The man accused of hitting and killing tow truck operator Nathan Walsh has been charged with felony homicide.

Online court records show 50-year-old Steven E. Dolan of La Crosse was charged November 20 with Homicide by Negligent Operation/Vehicle after the incident occurred on October 20. Dolan is due in Jackson County court December 8 for his initial appearance.

According to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Dolan was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 just above the 65 mph speed limit when the truck crossed the fog line and hit Nathan Walsh, 38, of Osseo, who was assisting a disabled white SUV about three miles east of Osseo in the westbound lanes of Interstate 94.

Nate was very involved in the Northwest Region TIME Program and attended the last meeting just two weeks before his untimely death. He was wearing reflective gear and near a tow truck with flashing emergency lights when he was struck.

The TIME Program would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all of the family and friends of Nate Walsh, Operations Manager for Jerry’s Towing in Roberts and former owner of Loft Towing in Osseo. Nate was tragically killed on Monday, October 20 while assisting a motorist along I-94 near Osseo. His loss to his family, his profession and the WI Towing Association is difficult to accept or understand.

A family friend says a fund for the family has been set up. Donations can be dropped off at any United Bank location, or mailed to P.O. Box 10, Osseo, 54758.  Online donations are being accepted through PayPal. The account is nathanwalshbenefit@gmail.com.

Caught on Tape: Close Call for Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper

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Both the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office had cruisers struck by passing vehicles while teaming up to crack down on drivers violating the Move Over Law. Both crashes happened on slippery stretches of US 41 on Sunday, November 16.

A State Patrol cruiser getting sideswiped was caught on dashcam. Video of the close call has already gotten more than 60,000 views on social media. You can watch video of the crash here.

The cruiser was parked on the shoulder of US 41 southbound near County II in Neenah while a trooper assisted at the scene of two single-vehicle crashes on Sunday at 8:11 a.m. The driver of a passing car lost control of the vehicle and struck the rear of the cruiser. Fortunately, the trooper was assisting the crashed vehicles and was not in the cruiser when it was struck.

In a separate incident on the same day, a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office cruiser was parked while a deputy assisted at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on US 41 northbound at the Lake Butte des Morts bridge on Sunday at 8:42 a.m. The driver of a passing car lost control of the vehicle and hit the rear of the cruiser. Moments later, the driver of a second passing car lost control, and the cruiser was struck for the second time. The deputy was not in the cruiser. However, a motorist who was being assisted by the deputy was in the cruiser during both crashes. She sustained minor injuries.

The Winnebago County Sheriff Office’s cruiser likely was totaled, and the State Patrol cruiser was severely damaged.

Wisconsin’s Move Over Law is designed to protect law enforcement officers, tow truck operators, emergency responders, road maintenance workers, and utility workers doing their jobs on the side of roadways. The law requires drivers to shift lanes if possible or slow down in order to create a safety zone for a law enforcement vehicle, tow truck, ambulance, fire truck, highway maintenance vehicle or utility vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing.

“When law enforcement officers, tow truck operators and others respond to assist vehicles that have crashed or slid off slippery roads, they face a tremendous danger of being struck by vehicles that have not moved over,” says State Patrol Sergeant Tim McGrath. “By obeying the Move Over Law, drivers can protect themselves, their passengers, our officers and others who work on highways from needless injuries and deaths.”

Additionally, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office stopped 21 drivers for Move Over Law violations during a combined enforcement effort in Winnebago County on Thursday, November 13.

 

WI TIME Program’s FHWA Rating Improves

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has reviewed the Wisconsin TIME Program’s 2014 Self-Assessment, and scored the program at 85.3% – 12 points higher than 2013.

Wisconsin’s score is currently significantly higher than the national average of 83.9%. However, programs across the country are showing continuous progress in safely and effectively dealing with traffic incidents.  In 2005, the  TIME Self Assessment national score was 48.0, indicating significant advancement of TIM Programs nationwide over the past nine years.

According to the FHWA, the highest scoring sections indicate that Wisconsin’s strengths are in providing motorists with incident information and ensuring responder and motorist safety during incident clearance. Compared to 2013, Milwaukee has made its greatest improvements by ensuring responder and motorist safety during incident clearance and sharing and integrating data with other agencies.

The scores indicate that Wisconsin has the most room for improvement in calculating TIM performance measures and in formalizing TIM agreements among stakeholders. The state can also focus establishing proper incident response and clearance procedures.

Over 50,000 responders in 42 states have already participated in the National TIM Responder Training, leading to a shared understanding of the core competencies necessary for safe and effective TIM.

Traffic incidents and related congestion create a significant cost for the nation. In November 2011, AAA reported that the societal cost of traffic crashes was $299.5 billion, more than three times the $97.7 billion cost of congestion in that year. More recently the American Transportation Research Institute calculated the cost of congestion for the nation’s trucking industry at more than $9.2 billion in 2013.

To learn more about TIM Performance measures, visit FHWA’s Performance Measures Knowledgebase.

New Allstate PSA Raises Awareness of Move Over Laws and Tow Truck Drivers

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At least one tow truck driver is killed every week by drivers not moving over and slowing down. To raise awareness of the issues, a new Move Over Slow Down Public Service Announcement (PSA) video has been released as part of the Provider Safety Advocacy campaign from Allstate Roadside Services and the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame Museum. You can watch the new PSA here.

NateWalshOn October 20, Nate Walsh, Operations Manager for Jerry’s Towing in Roberts and former owner of Loft Towing in Osseo was tragically killed while assisting a motorist along I-94 near Osseo. His loss to his family, his profession and the WI Towing Association is difficult to accept or understand.

A family friend says a fund for the family has been set up. Donations can be dropped off at any United Bank location, or mailed to P.O. Box 10, Osseo, 54758.  Online donations are being accepted through PayPal. The account is nathanwalshbenefit@gmail.com.

Nate was very involved in the Northwest Region TIME Program and attended the last meeting just two weeks before his untimely death. He was wearing reflective gear and near a tow truck with flashing emergency lights when he was struck.