Author Topic: Freeway Service Patrols #399 exist in California and other States or Local areas  (Read 3328 times)

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Software Santa

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Freeway Service Patrols (FSP) (Dial #399 from Cell Phone in CA) exist in California and other States or Local areas: check to see if this is available in Your Area!

Software Santa thanks Joyce K. for submitting this by Email!
 A tip of Software Santa's Santa Cap to her!

Freeway Service Patrol
  • The Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) is a joint program provided by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the local transportation agency.  The FSP program is a free service of privately owned tow trucks that patrol designated routes on congested urban California freeways.  Typically, FSP operates Monday through Friday during peak commute hours, and all day in pre-designated freeway construction zones.  In heavily congested freeway corridors it is becoming more commonplace for FSP to operate during the midday and on weekends/holidays in addition to the weekday peak period service.
    The goal of the FSP is to maximize the effectiveness of the freeway transportation system. The FSP is a congestion management tool which strategically addresses commute traffic pattern problems. Deployment of the FSP trucks is driven by congestion patterns in major metropolitan areas. It is necessary for the FSP program to respond immediately to changing or increasing needs for impediment mitigation.
     The goal is accomplished by the expeditious removal of disabled/stranded vehicles from the freeway. Removing obstructions on the freeways as rapidly as possible has a positive impact on traffic volumes by eliminating problems which contribute to non-recurrent congestion. Each year, the FSP program assists approximately 650,000 motorists on California's highway system.
    Rapid removal of freeway obstructions also reduces fuel consumption and minimizes automobile emissions by reducing the time vehicles spend idling in stopped traffic. Currently, over 350 tow trucks operated by CHP-trained, certified and supervised drivers, patrol in excess of 1,750 miles of the most congested freeways in California.
    If you get stuck on the freeway because your automobile stops running, FSP can help.
     For example, FSP will:
    • Offer you a gallon of gas, if you run out.
    • "Jump start" your car if the battery is dead.  
    • Refill your radiator and tape hoses.  
    • Even change a flat tire.
    Note: The FSP program...
    • Cannot tow your vehicle to a private repair service or residence.
    • Does not recommend tow service companies, repair or body shops.
    • Does not tow motorcycles.
    • Does not assist vehicles which have been involved in accidents, unless directed by CHP.
    • Does report any accident to the CHP.
    If FSP cannot get your car going, it will be towed free of charge to a location approved by the CHP.  The FSP will also contact additional assistance for you.  The CHP will notify an auto club or towing service.
    The FSP serves the following areas:
    • Valley Division - Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado and San Joaquin counties
    • Golden Gate Division - Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma counties
    • Central Division - Fresno county
    • Southern Division - Los Angeles county
    • Border Division - San Diego and Orange counties
    • Coastal Division - Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara counties
    • Inland Division - Riverside and San Bernardino counties
    Q:  What is the FSP program?
     The CHP, Caltrans, and local transportation agencies joined forces to provide emergency roadside services during commute periods. The goal of the program is to remove impediments to traffic to expedite the flow of traffic.
    Q:  Where is the FSP program deployed?
      Currently there are 14 FSP programs throughout the state (Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, San Joaquin, Bay Area, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Riverside, and San Bernardino).
    Q:  How large is the FSP program?
      Over 350 tow trucks operated by CHP trained, certified and supervised drivers patrol in excess of 1,750 miles of freeways in the state. The combined statewide operation directly assists more than 650,000 stranded motorists per year.
    Q:  How much does the FSP program cost?
      The FSP provides service to motorists at no cost. All costs of operating the FSP program are provided through state and local public funding allocations. State funding is apportioned to each FSP program through a funding formula based upon population, miles of freeway in the region and a measurement of congestion.  The local transportation agencies match the state funding allocation with a minimum of 25 percent of local funds.
    Q:  What other benefits are derived from the FSP program?
      During recent years, the responsibilities of CHP officers increased significantly and are continuing to expand. In those metropolitan regions of the state where FSP is deployed, FSP tow truck drivers are a cost-effective complement to many of the motorist services that are provided by the CHP beat officer. Due to the structure of FSP beats, the FSP tow truck driver is frequently the first to arrive on the scene of freeway incidents. As such, the FSP tow truck driver provides valuable "real time" information about the incident to the CHP Communications Center.
    The FSP tow truck driver implements preliminary measures to stabilize and protect the scene to ensure safety and minimize the risk of secondary collisions. The responding CHP officer receives up-to-date information about the incident prior to arriving at the scene, e.g., injuries, traffic conditions, required rescue services and equipment, etc. Supplied with updated information, the officer prepares his/her incident plan and coordinates the response of the additional services. The critical time required to mitigate the freeway incident is substantially reduced and the normal traffic flow is expeditiously restored.
     In the Management Information System Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2009/10, Caltrans reported the average benefit/cost ratio was 8.3:1 among the 13 programs evaluated. (The El Dorado FSP program was not included in the evaluation because the program started in 2010.) This ratio does not factor in the benefits associated with air quality improvement or collision reduction.

Freeway service patrol
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  

A freeway service patrol, alternatively known as a motorist assistance patrol, roadway service patrol, safety service patrol, or a courtesy patrol, is the umbrella term for a variety of programs implemented by government agencies, typically state Highway Patrols or Departments of Transportation, to reduce traffic congestion and improve highway safety by having specially marked and equipped vehicles patrol designated sections of roadway and provide incident management and motorist assistance at trouble spots they encounter. In some states, the program name is the generic term, as with California's Freeway Service Patrol; in others, the program has an individualized name, as with Indiana's Hoosier Helper program. Freeway service patrols are typically incorporated into a city or region's intelligent transportation system if it has one, and the United States Department of Transportation has included them as a market package in the National ITS Architecture, designated EM04. That designation emphasizes the role that these patrols can serve in incident or emergency management.

The first freeway service patrol in the United States with continuous regular operations was started in 1960 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1998 the Texas Transportation Institute conducted a study of 54 freeway service patrols in the United States and found that approximately 64% had been started since 1990.

Despite freeway service patrols' inclusion in the National ITS Architecture, and their increasingly widespread use, there has been no standardization as to how they are operated. Their scope, in terms of number of vehicles on patrol, operating hours, and milage patrolled, can vary widely. The patrol may operate only during peak hours, with only 30 or 40 operating hours per week, or may operate all 168 hours during a week, as the West Virginia Courtesy Patrol does. Likewise, the sort of vehicle used in the patrol varies, but may include light-duty pickup trucks, heavy-duty trucks, minivans, or wreckers. In all cases, the vehicle will be marked as a part of the freeway service patrol, and in some states a freeway service patrol vehicle is legally defined as an emergency vehicle. Variation also exists in the role that the agency or agencies responsible for a patrol plays in its operations. For instance, California's Freeway Service Patrol program consists of privately owned and operated wreckers that have contracts with the state, whereas Georgia's HERO program is run directly by the Georgia Department of Transportation: its vehicles are state property and its operators state employees.

The variation in freeway service patrol operating characteristics may be considered an example of form follows function, reflecting the relative importance each program assigns to such goals as motorist assistance, incident management, and traffic control. In general, though, the purpose of a freeway service patrol is to use rapid response to reduce traffic congestion. Like many ITS technologies, they are considered a much more cost effective method to do that than highway construction, especially in metropolitan areas where land for highway expansion is either unavailable or prohibitively expensive. Using such methods as assigning a dollar value to drivers' time and to the exhaust emissions of vehicles stuck in traffic, studies  through the early and mid 1990s estimated the benefit-cost ratio for some freeway service patrols may be as high as 36.2:1. Freeway service patrols are also seen as a way to develop goodwill towards the community in which they operate and the government responsible for them. Opposition  Although motorist surveys reveal that programs, once in place, are extremely popular with the general public, proposed freeway service patrols have met opposition from various groups. Most recently, a proposed freeway service patrol in Hawaii has been placed on hiatus  due to objections from a private tow truck company. The towing and recovery industry has been the source of opposition to previous proposals for freeway service patrols, as have small-government advocates.

Search your local Department of Transportation (DoT) to see if a FSP is available to you! Or try:
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 12:41:11 PM by Software Santa »


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