|For Immediate Release
May 14, 2012
Public Information Office
|Roadside "Service Patrols" Returning on Interstate 95
Running from the Mass. State Line to Exit 7 in Portsmouth
Motorists stranded with minor vehicle problems on Interstate 95 from Portsmouth to Seabrook will soon find help. Beginning Friday, May 18, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) is once again introducing "service patrols" for the summer on I-95, from the Massachusetts state line to Exit 7 during early morning and afternoon commuting hours. The goal is to reduce the potential for significant traffic tie-ups by clearing minor incidents, such as flat tires, charging a battery, or vehicle overheating, as quickly as possible.
The service patrol's three-month pilot project last year during the I-95 peak summer traffic season was a success. The NHDOT's Bureau of Turnpikes is continuing the service this summer. A new truck for improved motorist assistance will have a built-in air compressor, jumper cables, push bar, and various storage boxes to hold tools and accessories such as gas cans. Turnpike personnel will make continuous loops between Exit 60 in Salisbury, Massachusetts and Exit 7 in Portsmouth, stopping for all incidents or stopped vehicles encountered. The service patrols will operate during early morning (5:30 am to 8:00 am) and late afternoon (3:30 pm to 7:00 pm) hours Monday through Friday. Friday afternoon's shift will run from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm, followed by 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays, and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays. Extra coverage may be added on holidays and for special events.
Minor incidents like flat tires and running out of fuel on a congested highway have the potential to cause secondary incidents, which are typically more serious in nature. Service patrols can help reduce the potentially significant impacts of otherwise minor incidents by lending assistance to stranded motorists. This service should improve safety along the corridor.
The service patrols will communicate with the NHDOT's Traffic Management Center (TMC) in Concord, which has direct contact with State Police and other emergency responders. Those in need of minor roadside assistance can also call the TMC at 271-6TMC (271-6862).
Studies have shown that even minor incidents on the shoulder of a busy highway can have a significant impact on lane capacity, vehicle speeds, and driver safety because drivers tend to shy away from fixed or still objects near the travel way.