Heavy traffic and construction slowing down response times for emergency vehicles


AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – Holiday traffic and along with ongoing construction in Augusta is causing some delays in response times for first responders.

“The traffic is heavy, said Carolyn King.

“Traffic pretty bad.”

“It’s awful,” said Erica Rush.

Holiday season is causing some headaches for travelers and with construction going on across the C.S.R.A, it may take a little more time to get from point A to point B.

“You got to definitely leave early ahead of time, before you get to your destination,” said Rush.

And construction isn’t causing a delay for only locals but also first responders.

“It delays us significantly,” said Cpl. Joshua Bartlett.

Cpl. Bartlett with Georgia State patrol says first responders have to follow a number of protocols when heading to an emergency and when there’s construction involved, it makes the trip a little more difficult.

“Because there’s just traffic all over the roadway and it’s just hard for vehicles to move out of our way because it’s such a tight spot on the interstate specifically with the road cones on the shoulder, cars from other lanes trying to move over so a lot of times we have to drive on to the shoulder if it’s available at a reasonable speed,” said Cpl. Bartlett.

And even in emergency situations, first responders still have to follow the rules of the road.

“We can exceed the speed limit obviously but we can’t just go and run a stop sign because we have our blue lights and sirens on or we can’t just go through a red light, we have to use due regard when we come to a stop sign or when we come to a red light, you’ll see us stop and a lot of times we’ll change our sirens to get people’s attention,” he said.

Those agencies can’t do much about the construction but most Augusta driver say they do what they can to help them maneuver around it.

“I always move over to the right, give them all the room they need, either way I move off the side of the road because someone’s life can be in danger,”

“I would just move out of the way quickly to get to the side”, said Carolyn King.

“You better get out of the way, because if not, they gone run you over,” said Rush.

With high traffic volumes and more construction coming to the garden Cpl. Bartlett says to stay vigilant of emergency vehicles, always rear to the right if there’s one coming behind you, slow down, never slam on your brakes and most importantly remain calm.

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