The Obama administration set an all time record for issuing federal mandates which unconstitutionally reached down to the local level. One of which, the renumbering of highway exits, is just now being implemented on the local level here in my state. On the surface this mandate seems rather innocuous. In reality this mandate is creating a lot of confusion. Over the labor day weekend this confusion had the potential of killing someone in my town.
The town I live in is bisected by a major highway and in my town there are three exits from that highway. Ever since that highway was built fifty years ago the exits were numbered 1, 2 and 3. Now they are numbered 2, 3, and 5 because the Obama administration decreed that all exits are now numbered by the mile markers they are at.
Renumbering exits after fifty years is causing a lot of confusion for town residents and motorists which can be comical. This renumbering is causing a great deal of confusion amongst the police and fire department in my town and this confusion could potentially have killed someone over this past weekend. I heard it unfold over my police scanner.
Instead of informing the units that an accident happened at a certain exit or the best access is this number exit the dispatcher for the police and fire departments now tell all units that “the incident is at the new exit number which was this old exit”. This takes extra time which is not good during an emergency. The dispatchers try real hard to use this system for every call but they do not always. Neither do the police or fire units. Sometimes the dispatchers use just the old exit numbers and sometimes the new numbers. The police and fire units do the same. This has caused a great deal of confusion since the exits were renumbered a month ago.
This past Sunday evening there were two major roll over accidents on the highway at roughly the same time. Police and fire units were called in from two surrounding towns. Dispatchers and emergency units kept mixing up old and new exit numbers. Units were sent to the wrong exits. This created delays in response time. This could have resulted in someone’s death, luckily it did not.
Because everyone is so used to the old system after fifty years and during a stressful emergency situations people tend to fall back on old habits I can see this happening for years despite having top notch dispatchers and first responders in my town. This could easily be happening in towns and cities across this country because of s silly federal mandate.