The benefit-cost ratio for the safety service patrol (SSP) in Hampton Roads, Virginia was 4.71:1.

Experience of a Freeway SSP 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 analyzed 33,877 incidents that had occurred during the evaluation period. The study includes a comparison of the average duration for incidents that occurred on SSP routes to those of similar incidents and conditions that had occurred on non-SSP routes.


The study compared the “begin” and “end” times of incidents that had occurred on SSP routes to incidents of the same type, on similar routes and traffic conditions on non-SSP routes. Incidents on non-SSP routes receive assistance from the Virginia State Police (VSP). Records for incidents were obtained from the Hampton Roads SSP and the VSP computer-aided-dispatch (CAD) records.


The findings show that the SSP in Hampton Roads provides large mobility benefits to the region by keeping lanes clear and open for traffic. The findings also show that routes having the largest benefit-cost ratios have highest traffic volume, as shown below.
  • Overall benefit-cost ratio was 4.7:1.
  • The 2 Outer and 2 Inner routes (I-264) had a benefit-cost ratio of 10.17:1.
  • The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel route (I-64 from 4th View Street to Armistead Avenue) had a benefit-cost ratio of 7.74:1.
  • The Naval Base/Reversible Roadway route (I-64 and I-564) had a benefit-cost ratio of 6.46:1

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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: 2011-00670