Tow Patrol To Help Stranded Motorists

Published On: Dec 28 2004 03:10:13 AM HST   Updated On: Dec 28 2004 03:15:14 AM HST

State officials said a new program to provide free towing to stranded motorists on Oahu highways is expected to start late this summer.

The goal is to prevent frustrating and time-consuming traffic jams when vehicles run out of gas or stall.

State Transportation Director Rodney Haraga rolled out details of the new "Freeway Service Patrol" on Tuesday.

"The freeway service patrol is a real system to move cars that are stuck on the freeway. If grandma, grandpa are stuck on the freeway they ran out of gas, their battery died, they have mechanical problems, the service patrol will run at 10-minute intervals," Haraga said.

He said the patrol will have six tow trucks continually running to free up traffic on the highways from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. five days a week.

A total $2 million is already appropriated to pay for the Freeway Service Patrol with $400,000 coming from the state treasury; the rest will come from federal highway funds.

The transportation director said additional methods to ease traffic will later include synchronizing all major traffic lights, and to start a freeway ramp monitoring system to allow vehicles to enter the highways at a more even pace.


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