LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg first responders are taking safety into their own hands.
While state lawmakers debate imposing tougher penalties for violating the “Move Over” law, first responders in the Hill City have a new way to protect themselves on the side of local roadways.
It’s a new tool the Lynchburg Fire Department is rolling out. It’s called the Portable Speed Bump.
“These Portable Speed Bumps are amazing. They’re going to slow people down,” Jamie Maxwell, master firefighter, said.
In an effort to get people to move over and slow down, Capt. Jennifer Collins convinced the city to buy the new device.
“We just need something else to help alert people that they need to slow down. They need to give us some space to work,” Collins said.
Firefighters and police officers say sometimes the flashing lights aren’t enough.
“I almost got hit the other dayat a traffic crash scene. The driver was mad at me because he almost hit me. They just weren’t paying attention,” Maxwell said.
“We had a police officer that was struck last year that was actually directing traffic. It wasn’t a stop, he had his full reflective gear on. He’s actually still out of work right now,” Sgt. Josh Collins, with the Lynchburg Police Department, said.
It’s only been a month since the department has had the speed bump. We had them test it out for us and, sure enough, it got people’s attention.
“From what I’ve heard from the other firefighters that have had the opportunity to use it, even on the expressway, people are slowing way down,” Collins said.
Training will start next week and the plan is to have all fire engines carrying the new lifesaving tool.