Northern Virginia's freeway safety service patrol (SSP) had an estimated annual savings of $6.49 million in motorist delay and fuel consumption resulting in a benefit-cost ratio of 5.4:1.

Experience with the SSP for NOVA's freeways from 2003 to 2004.

Northern Virginia; Virginia; United States

Summary Information

In FY03 and FY04, budget cuts to the safety service patrol (SSP) in Northern Virginia (NOVA) diminished the SSP’s ability to respond to and clear incidents. Having experienced the strain of reduced resources, the NOVA SSP requested a formal Return on Investment (ROI) study of its services to demonstrate the benefits of SSP and thereby forestall additional plans for further budget reductions.


A Return on Investment (ROI) study of the NOVA SSP computed the average durations for SSP-assist incidents to those without SSP-assist (state police assist only). The study compared incidents that matched by type, road and traffic conditions. Records of 22,233 SSP-assist incidents that occurred from May 31, 2003 to June 1, 2004 were obtained from the Incident Management Database (IMD). Records of matching, non-SSP assist incidents were obtained from the Virginia State Police (VSP) computer-aided-dispatch (CAD) system.

  • The estimated ROI was $6.49 million in terms of savings in delay and fuel consumption.
  • The total annual SSP operating costs of $1,193,511 resulted in a benefit-cost ratio of 5.4:1.

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Assessing the Return on Investment of Freeway Safety Service Patrol Programs

Author: Dougald, L. E., & Demetsky, M. J.

Source Date: 2008



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Goal Areas


Related Metropolitan Integration Links

Link 13: Freeway Management to Incident Management

Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


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

Benefit ID: 2011-00669