Cell­phone pic­ture a no-no

First re­spon­ders forced to watch out for dis­tracted mo­torists when tend­ing to work

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON [email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

Avon­dale’s fire chief has had enough of driv­ers snap­ping pic­tures of ac­ci­dent scenes while pass­ing them by.

If you’re be­hind the wheel and driv­ing past an ac­ci­dent scene, tak­ing out your cell­phone to snap a pic­ture should be the far­thest thing from your mind.

That’s ac­cord­ing to Avon­dale Fire Chief Chad Costello. With Satur­day see­ing the first bit of sig­nif­i­cant snow­fall for the im­pend­ing win­ter sea­son, his fire­fight­ers were busy re­spond­ing to mul­ti­ple ac­ci­dents on the Trans-Canada High­way.

“It’s amaz­ing to see how many peo­ple have cell­phones out tak­ing pic­tures and videos of ac­ci­dent scenes while driv­ing past an ac­ci­dent scene,” the fire chief told The Com­pass. “It’s pretty in­cred­i­ble ac­tu­ally to see what some driv­ers do as they’re pass­ing an ac­ci­dent scene, as they’re driv­ing with their cell­phones out.”

This be­hav­iour not only en­dan­gers the driver, but also first re­spon­ders who are in the midst of do­ing im­por­tant work.

“It kind of makes the scene un­safe for fire­fight­ers and first re­spon­ders that are at­tend­ing the scene of an ac­ci­dent,” Costello said. “You can never turn your back to the traf­fic as it comes from be­hind you or if it’s in the op­po­site lane. On that Trans-Canada, you al­ways need to keep your head up and be aware of your sur­round­ings.”

A 15-year vet­eran of the Avon­dale Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment, Costello knows all too well his fire­fight­ers can ex­pect to re­ceive a few calls when the first bit of sig­nif­i­cant snow­fall ac­cu­mu­lates on the roads and high­ways. On Satur­day, Nov. 10, the fire depart­ment re­sponded to al­most half-a-dozen ac­ci­dents, with no ma­jor in­juries re­ported.

“There was a lot of snow that fell in a short amount of time,” Costello said. “I don’t think peo­ple were pre­pared for that much snow so soon I think.”

With the win­ter sea­son just

“It kind of makes the scene un­safe for fire­fight­ers and first re­spon­ders that are at­tend­ing the scene of an ac­ci­dent.”

— Chad Costello

about here, Costello said driv­ers need to keep an eye on the weather, get their win­ter tires in­stalled if they’re not al­ready on and re­duce speeds when con­di­tions are less-than-ideal.

KEITH GOSSE — THE TELE­GRAM

This ve­hi­cle rolled over near the Avon­dale ac­cess on the Trans-Canada High­way Satur­day af­ter­noon, Nov. 10.

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