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Safety Service Patrol begins in west Michigan

Fast facts:

  • A new traffic safety service begins Nov. 1 in Kent County.
  • The Safety Service Patrol (also known as the Freeway Courtesy Patrol) has been in place and successful for MDOT’s Metro and University regions.
  • Last year, the Safety Service Patrol averaged 3,167 stops per month to help motorists.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In an effort to make the roads safer and more efficient, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is launching a Safety Service Patrol Nov. 1 for freeways in Kent County. This service will assist motorists and first responders during traffic incidents. Whether it’s a crash, an abandoned vehicle, debris on the roadway, a flat tire, or a driver in need of fuel, the Safety Service Patrol is on call and ready to help clear the scene as safely and quickly as possible. 

"Clearing roadway incidents faster reduces congestion and lessens the potential for secondary crashes," said MDOT Transportation Operations Center Engineer Timothy Schneider. "This is a welcomed benefit for every motorist and first responder on our roadways, and we are pleased to provide this service in the west Michigan area."

Two skilled, qualified drivers will be on watch Monday through Thursday between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., and on Fridays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The roadways being patrolled are:

  • US-131 from 100th Street to 10 Mile Road,
  • I-96 from Fruit Ridge Avenue to M-50, and
  • I-196 from 44th Street to I-96.

With more than 38,000 stops over the last year alone, the Safety Service Patrol has proven to be effective and a welcomed sight for drivers in distress. Also known as the Freeway Courtesy Patrol, this program began in 1994 under private ownership with two vans patrolling a portion of I-75 in Detroit. MDOT assumed responsibility of the program in 1999 and has continued to expand the fleet, services provided and coverage area.

Crash Responder Safety Week (CRSW) is Nov. 14-18, and the national theme is "Respect Our Roadside Heroes." This is an opportunity for everyone to make a difference for roadway safety during traffic incidents. Communities across the nation come together this week by teaching each other and the motoring public about our common goal and responsibility for safe, quick roadway clearance. To learn more about CRSW, please visit the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) CRSW site.

Safety Service Patrol vehicle.