Hampton Roads Transportation Operations Center
The Hampton Roads Transportation Operations Center uses advanced technology to monitor traffic conditions, keeping motorists informed of real-time weather and road conditions.
The Center's technology helps tourists, shippers and local commuters navigate the highways, bridges and tunnels throughout Hampton Roads through advanced electronic information and communication technologies (also known as Intelligent Transportation Systems).
The Hampton Roads Transportation Operations Center (HRTOC) is part of a statewide traffic management network - including electronic toll collection systems, electronic truck weigh stations and travel information centers.
Control Room Operations
The HRTOC control room operators monitor and evaluate interstate traffic flow, communicate information to the public and send assistance when necessary. The way traffic management works is this: when traffic slows down as the result of a crash, for example, vehicle detection units note a decrease in traffic flow and send this information to the Center via fiber optic cable. Computers then signal the control room operator, who is able to pinpoint the exact location of the accident through the use of cameras on the roadways.
In the next few seconds, the control room operator sends this information to VA511 - Virginia's one-stop resource for traffic and travel information. Simultaneously, electronic message signs will be activated - as will Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) - to give commuters and travelers up-to-the-minute traffic information on lane closures, accidents, construction delays, and detours. HRTOC operators also dispatch Safety Service Patrol (SSP), and contact emergency personnel, when needed. By providing emergency workers with real-time information, response time is quicker and because responders have details about the incident they are better prepared with the proper equipment and personnel.
Safety Service Patrol
The Safety Service Patrol (SSP), part of VDOT’s Transportation Operations Centers in Virginia Beach, is an innovative motorist assistance program. Hampton Roads' patrollers provide traffic control and roadside assistance for motorists traveling on approximately 80 interstate miles throughout Hampton Roads, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Services provided by the Safety Service Patrol are free of charge and include the following:
- Vehicle jump-starts
- Tire changes
- Roadway debris removal
- Cellular telephone for additional assistance
- Calling for a tow truck
- Providing directions and state maps
- Providing CPR and limited first aid until emergency services arrive