Traffic Incident Management Quick Clearance Act


This Act establishes the duties of drivers when approaching traffic incidents, the expedited removal of vehicles from an incident, the liability protection for authorized clearance functions, and compensation for incident removal costs.

Traffic Incident Management Quick Clearance Act

Model Policy

Section 1. {Short Title}This act may be cited as the Traffic Incident Management Quick Clearance Act.

Section 2. {Road User Duties Approaching Incidents}

(A) When in or approaching an incident, every driver shall maintain a speed no greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, including actual and potential hazards then existing;

(B)  When in or approaching an incident area, every driver shall obey the directions of any authorized official directing traffic and all applicable traffic control devices;

(C) Except for emergency vehicles in the incident area, when in or approaching an incident area, every driver shall reduce speed and vacate any lane wholly or partially blocked;

(D) If a violation of this section results in a serious injury or death to another person, in addition to any other penalty imposed by law, the violator’s driver’s license shall be suspended for a period of at least   one year and not more than (5) years and the violator may be sentenced up to one year in jail;

(E)This section applies to motor vehicle traffic accidents that occur on controlled access highways and any other highways that are divided into two or more lanes.

Section 3. {Avoidance of Lane Blockage — Expedited Removal of Vehicles}

(A) No person shall stop or park a vehicle in such manner as to impede or render dangerous the use of the roadway by others, except to avoid collision, at the direction of an authorized official, or in the case of a crash or mechanical breakdown;

(B) In the event of a crash or mechanical breakdown, the emergency flashing lights of such vehicle shall be activated if the vehicle is equipped with such lights and lights are in working order;

(C) If a vehicle stopped in the roadway is movable, its driver is capable of moving it, the driver may immediately move the vehicle to the shoulder or to a designated area off the highway. A responder to an incident may move a vehicle remaining on the roadway, or require the driver or other person in charge of the vehicle to move it to the shoulder or a designated area off the highway;

(D) An authority or a law enforcement agency may remove personal property from a roadway or right-of-way if the property blocks the roadway or endangers public safety.

Section 4. {Liability Protection for Authorized Incident Clearance Functions}

(A) Governmental agencies responding to incidents, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, transportation agencies and other emergency governmental responders are authorized to exercise the incident clearance functions enumerated in this section. If such functions are exercised with reasonable care and at the direction of the incident commander, those governmental agencies and their personnel and other designated representatives are insulated from liability resulting from such actions taken pursuant to incident clearance, including:

(1) Incident detection and verification;

(2) Incident area security and protection;

(3) Rescue of persons from vehicles and hazardous environments;

(4) Emergency medical transportation and care;

(5) Hazardous materials response and containment;

(6) Fire suppression and elimination;

(7) Transportation of vehicle occupants;

(8) Traffic direction and management, and establishment and operation of alternate routes, including but not limited to traffic detours and/or diversion;

(9) Crash investigation;

(10) Dissemination of traveler information;

(11) Incident clearance, including removal of debris, coordination of clearance and repair resources, and temporary roadway repair and facilities restoration;

(12) Removal of vehicles and cargo;

(13) Any other actions reasonably necessary;

(14) When directed by the incident commander, towing and recovery service providers are authorized to perform the following enumerated functions, and any other actions reasonably necessary to perform those enumerated functions;

(15) Removal of vehicles from the incident area;

(16) Protection of property and vehicles;

(17) Removal of debris from the roadway;

(18) Transportation of persons or cargo.

Section 5. {Compensation for Incident Removal Costs}

(A) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, any agency, person or organization incurring the reasonable cost of an authorized or permissive removal of vehicles and/or cargo at an incident, if such removal is authorized by the traffic incident commander, shall have the right to reasonable compensation for the cost of such removal from the registered owner (or owners) or permissive use operator of:

(1) the vehicles removed; and/or

(2) the vehicles whose cargo was removed in whole or in part.

Section 6.  {Severability Clause}

Section 7. {Repealer Clause}

Section 8. {Effective Date}

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on September 19, 2010.

Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on September 3, 2019.