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Fall 2016

Accountability Ensures Safety Service Patrols’ Success

By Tara Baukus Mello

Safety Service Patrol (SSP) drivers are often the public “face” of the transportation agencies they represent. When attending to stranded motorists on the side of the highway, they not only need to meet certain safety standards, but also customer service standards, to ensure the program’s overall success. As such, SSP managers are continually seeking ways to measure the performance of SSP drivers on the job and hold them to the highest standards possible.

Industry expert Steve J. Cyra, associate vice president of traffic operations/ITS for HNTB Corporation, explains: “Since SSP programs are largely a public safety service that involves direct interaction with motorists, it is imperative that DOTs and other operating agencies be accountable for the quality of services rendered, much in the same way a DOT field inspector monitors the workmanship of a roadway or bridge construction contractor.”…Read more

SSP Idea-Sharing Network

Over the past year, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and have advanced their collaborative effort to host quarterly Idea-Sharing Network Sessions for Safety Service Patrol (SSP) managers and FHWA Division Administrators. The result of which has been a broad dissemination of best practices for SSP operations nationwide. From in-cab cameras that capture incident scenes in real-time to utilization of state highway patrol tracks for training SSP operators in safe environments, each session offers unique insights from SSP managers, supervisors and industry experts that can be applied to Traffic Incident Management (TIM) programs across the country…Read more

Headlights On…

New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Director of Traffic Operations and recipient of the 2015 Transportation Advancement Award, Salvatore Cowan provides guidance and tips for preparing SSPs for large-scale, major events as well as insight into resources available to SSP managers to improve operations…Read more

News & Notes

A look at developments from Safety Service Patrols from state to state…Read more

Question of the Quarter

State departments of transportation and toll road authorities monitor Safety Service Patrol performance to determine efficacy, and areas for improvement. From total incidents to motorist feedback and every metric in between, what do you think is most important when evaluating the performance of Safety Service Patrols? Why are these metrics critical to Safety Service Patrol administration and how often should they be evaluated? …Read more

Editor’s Note

Every transportation program, service, and initiative requires a measurement of performance to determine value and success. We must ask ourselves: Is this program delivering on its objectives? What metrics define success? Are there areas for improvement? What is the public perception of said program, service, or initiative? The answer to these questions will define and shape a program’s value and longevity…Read more