The safety service patrol (SSP) in Hampton Roads, Virginia decreased the average incident duration by 70.7 percent.

Experiences of the Freeway SPP in the Hampton Roads, VA from 2005 to 2006.

Hampton Roads,Virginia,United States

Summary Information

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.

A Return on Investment (ROI) study of the SSP in Hampton Roads, Virginia compared the average incident duration for incidents (accidents, breakdowns and debris) on SSP routes to similar incidents and conditions without SSP-assist. The study analyzed 33,877 incidents.


The study compared the “begin” and “end” times of incidents that had occurred on SSP routes to those of incidents without SSP-assist that matched in terms of incident type, roadway, and traffic conditions. Incidents on non-SSP roadways only receive assistance from the Virginia State Police (VSP).

  • SSP-assist incidents had a 70.7 percent reduction in duration compared to VSP-assist only incidents.
  • The mean clearance time for all incidents (debris, crashes, breakdowns) with SSP-assist was 10.17 minutes.
  • The mean clearance time for VSP-assist only incidents was 34.70 minutes.

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A Return on Investment Study of the Hampton Roads Safety Service Patrol Program

Author: Dougald, L.E.

Published By: Virginia Transportation Research Council

Source Date: 2007



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Goal Areas


Related Metropolitan Integration Links

Link 13: Freeway Management to Incident Management

Typical Deployment Locations



freeway service patrol, courtesy patrols, highway helpers, freeway service patrols

Benefit ID: 2011-00680