A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

As you drive over the holiday, SAFE Patrol can help if you have car trouble on Kentucky’s interstates

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – If you have a breakdown while heading over the river and through the woods this holiday season, remember the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s SAFE Patrol is there to give you help and get you back on your way.

SAFE, which stands for Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies, patrols Kentucky’s interstate highways and parkways statewide, as well as U. S. 23 and Kentucky-80, from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. in most areas, seven days a week.

Free services provided by the SAFE Patrol trucks include:

— Add air to tires or change flat tires
— Provide a “jump” for dead batteries
— Gasoline or oil for those in need
— Other minor automotive repairs
— Render emergency first aid

They also aid law enforcement by directing traffic, remove debris from the road, monitor infrastructure for suspicious activities, and check and tag abandoned vehicles.

If a tow truck is required, the vehicle’s operator will be responsible for charges.

The Transportation Cabinet has joined with State Farm Insurance in the first public-private partnership to cover expenses of the program.

The SAFE Patrol was established in 2004 to enhance incident management, assist drivers, aid law enforcement and keep traffic moving safely. Service patrols are prevalent nationwide, and the Federal Highway Administration considers them to be one of the most effective traffic incident management components.

In addition to being so highly regarded at the federal level, state government, transportation department officials, program managers, and patrol drivers are proud of the service they provide, and the public who benefits from the services widely regard the patrols as heroes of the highway.

“The dedicated men and women of the SAFE Patrol have helped provide quality service to citizens and visitors traveling Kentucky roadways over the past 14 years,” said Acting Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Jason Siwula.

“This sponsorship allows us to enhance this service by improving the visibility of patrol vehicles on highways with new markings, reducing traffic congestion when crashes occur and offering greater peace of mind for drivers who run into unexpected problems on the road.”

Drivers in need of assistance may call 888-FOR-KYTC or #SAFE to request aid.

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