Dawn Eischen 804-524-6179
June 30, 2016
SAFETY SERVICE PATROL EXPANDS TO OVERNIGHT HOURS IN RICHMOND REGION
Mobile units provide rapid incident management and emergency response and on major routes
Safety Service Patrol now assists Richmond region travelers around the clock
SOUTH CHESTERFIELD —Starting Thursday, June 30, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will expand the Safety Service Patrol to two overnight routes along I-95 and I-64 from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. for additional emergency response and traffic control assistance. Currently, Safety Service Patrol runs on various routes from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. around the Richmond region.
“The primary purpose for the Safety Service Patrol is to provide emergency response and incident management assistance,” says Robb Alexander, P.E., regional operations director. “As nighttime traffic volumes and incidents grow in number, so did the need for these vital services.”
The two new overnight routes will include one patroller and one supervisor, which will cover:
- I-95 from I-295 (mile marker 84) in Hanover to Route 10 (mile marker 61) in Chester
- I-64 from Route 288 (mile marker 175) in Goochland to I-295 (mile marker 200) in New Kent
Patrollers can respond to high profile incidents outside the established routes during the new overnight hours, if necessary.
The new routes were chosen based on volume of traffic, number of incidents and input from the Virginia State Police, local fire and police chiefs and the Greater Richmond Traffic Incident Management Group. Operation times and days may be modified to accommodate heavy travel seasons such as summer and major holidays.
Safety service patrollers continuously monitor routes in trucks with the VDOT logo on the side, detecting incidents and responding to requests for assistance from the Virginia State Police and local emergency responders. Patrols also remove road hazards, such as debris. During patrols, they can arrive at incidents quickly and set up traffic control to clear the way for emergency responders. Early action by patrollers and notification to the proper authorities mean reduced congestion on the interstates.
When not engaged in emergency response, patrollers also provide these non-emergency services to motorists:
- Jump starting vehicles;
- A couple gallons of gasoline;
- Water for overheated radiators;
- Tire changes;
- Access to a telephone for tow services;
- Directions and a state map; and
- Limited first aid until emergency services arrive.
The Richmond Safety Service Patrol is an extension of VDOT’s Richmond Traffic Operations Center (TOC) in Chester, which monitors travel conditions 24 hours a day on area roads. The TOC shares real-time travel information with motorists via 511 and www.511Virginia.org. The total cost of the Richmond Safety Service Patrol is approximately $3.2 million per year.
If drivers face a life-threatening emergency while traveling on Virginia roadways, they should call 911 immediately.
Drivers are encouraged to report stranded vehicles, vehicle crashes and obstructions in the roadway to Virginia State Police at #77. To report unsafe roadway conditions, such as potholes or debris in the road, call the 24-hour VDOT Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).
For more information about VDOT’s Safety Service Patrol, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/safetypatrol.asp.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.