The safety service patrol (SSP) in Hampton Roads, Virginia, keeps travel lanes open for traffic by moving or helping to start stalled vehicles, removing debris from the roadway, and clearing traffic incidents. The Hampton Roads SSP assist motorists free of charge (to the drivers) by jump starting vehicles, providing gasoline, changing tires, etc. The SSP services approximately 80 miles on a 24-hour-per-day, 7-day-a-week basis. It patrols eight routes continuously and provides dispatch service on two routes. To justify funding the SSP, an evaluation was
The study compared the “begin” and “end” times of incidents that had occurred on SSP routes to those of incidents without SSP-assist that matched in terms of incident type, roadway, and traffic conditions. Incidents on non-SSP roadways only receive assistance from the Virginia State Police (VSP).
- SSP-assist incidents had a 70.7 percent reduction in duration compared to VSP-assist only incidents.
- The mean clearance time for all incidents (debris, crashes, breakdowns) with SSP-assist was 10.17 minutes.
- The mean clearance time for VSP-assist only incidents was 34.70 minutes.