Starting Monday, the popular Freeway Service Patrol will be covering more of the H-1 Freeway.
Since 2009, the state Department of Transportation has had trucks standing by along the H-1 freeway to assist motorists who have breakdowns.
Yvette Coleman's vehicle recently stalled during rush hour at a dangerous location on the busy freeway. She said it was a terrifying experience, sitting alone, baking in the heat with cars streaking by her. Her tow service told her she might have to wait up to two hours to get assistance.
"So at the point where I was just about to cry, I looked in the rear view mirror and it was like 'Ahh!' This big blue and white truck right behind me. And it was very calming. He came to the window and asked if I needed help," Coleman said.
Transportation officials said FSP drivers have assisted over 20,000 motorists since the program began. The service has been available from Kunia to Kalihi. On Monday morning, the patrols will include the university area.
The new service trucks will have flashing light bars and arrow boards for safety, jacks, air compressors, jumper cables, gas and water.
"Every minute that is saved clearing a blockage is five minutes less time that the rest of us have to sit in traffic in the resulting traffic backup. So it really does pay off," said Abraham Wong, division administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.
"I call them my heroes, because they really are," Coleman said.
Motorists are asked to 841-HELP (841-4357) for assistance, Monday through Friday, except holidays.