Amarillo first responders slowed by construction

Amarillo first responders said their response time can potentially be delayed by one to two minutes because of the traffic caused by construction. (ABC 7 Amarillo-Tiffany Lester)

Crawling traffic could mean the difference between life and death for folks involved in crashes as it slows down emergency personnel trying to get to victims.

Construction zones add to the potential dangers.

“The construction just slows everybody down,” said Amarillo Fire Department Captain Larry Davis. “Of course, it’s going to slow us down. We do have a little more delayed response because of the construction. Really when we’re down to one lane, there’s a not a lot that we can do.”

It also leaves drivers confused as to what they should do.

Davis said drivers stuck in traffic should not move into the construction area to get out of the way of emergency vehicles.

“I would advise them to just stay where they are and if we can do it, we will try to get out of the construction area, if we can, and try to go around them. We’re afraid if the people start trying to move to get out of our way, they may be involved in a wreck,” said Davis.

He tells ABC 7 News folks should always pull to the right, if possible, when trying to avoid emergency vehicles.

“If we have to go around someone on the right, it’s a bad situation for us because we’re not really sure what they’re going to do. If they pull to the right then we know that we’ve got that inside lane that we can take,” said Davis.

Fortunately, Davis said the delay is only for a minute or two. He added they try to use information on road closures and conditions put out by the Texas Department of Transportation to plan ahead.

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