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 incidents of the same type, on similar routes and traffic conditions on non-SSP routes. Incidents on non-SSP routes receive assistance from the Virginia State Police (VSP). Records for incidents were obtained from the Hampton Roads SSP and the VSP computer-aided-dispatch (CAD) records.
The findings show that the SSP in Hampton Roads provides large mobility benefits to the region by keeping lanes clear and open for traffic. The findings also show that routes having the largest benefit-cost ratios have highest traffic volume, as shown below.
- Overall benefit-cost ratio was 4.7:1.
- The 2 Outer and 2 Inner routes (I-264) had a benefit-cost ratio of 10.17:1.
- The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel route (I-64 from 4th View Street to Armistead Avenue) had a benefit-cost ratio of 7.74:1.
- The Naval Base/Reversible Roadway route (I-64 and I-564) had a benefit-cost ratio of 6.46:1