Police say obeying road closures after accidents crucial for safety

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Thursday morning, Eastbound lanes of I-565 were shut down for several hours as officers worked an accident, but WHNT News 19's crew on scene saw several cars still trying to use the lanes.

We spoke with police about why closing roads after an accident is so important for everyone's safety.

Officers say the moments after a wreck are the most important for first responders and investigators to secure the scene and help people who are injured.

"Officers will close it down or close part of the roadway down for the safety of the people working the accident; police officers, firefighters, wrecker drivers and emergency medical personnel," said Huntsville Police Sgt. Mark Shahan.

In addition to the safety of the first responders, roads are closed to preserve the scene.

"You can't be working out there and having traffic come by you at a high speed. it will destroy the evidence," said Shahan.

Sgt. Shahan says police close the roads for your safety too, saying when roads aren't closed and there's an accident scene, it turns into a "rubber necking" situation which is often dangerous.

"They'll get out of the car, if we don't close them down... they'll be wandering around looking at the other cars and they'll get hit also," said Shahan.

You can get a ticket of nearly $200 for driving on a road that police have closed.