The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced a new sponsor and new look for the Freeway Service Team. The WisDOT Safety Patrol is now sponsored by GEICO. The fleet of specially equipped incident-management vehicles hit the road this week.
The Safety Patrol is active in high-volume traffic areas, typically within large work zones, to offer free, limited roadside assistance to drivers in need. Services include providing small amounts of fuel, changing flat tires and jump-starting vehicles, and removing debris from the roadway. The flatbed patrol vehicles also help relieve congested traffic at the scenes of incidents and crashes.
“Every second matters when there is a breakdown or a crash on the highway,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “Having a specialized safety detail on patrol in high-volume areas is part of our commitment to safety. The quicker we can regain normal traffic flow, the safer we all can be in that stretch of roadway.”
Freeway Service Teams date back to the late-1990s in Wisconsin. Over the past two years, the Safety Patrol vehicles logged 1.1 million miles, 35,110 service hours, and made 7,595 motorist assists.
In Wisconsin there are approximately 136,000 crashes annually, statewide. That means there is a crash roughly every four minutes. Quick, proactive response in high-volume work zones is a core benefit provided by the WisDOT Safety Patrols. Removing vehicles and debris effectively helps reduce the likelihood of secondary incidents including instances of motorists crashing into or near that initial crash scene. It also reduces wasted fuel and pollution by alleviating congestion.