If your car breaks down on Interstate 80 or State Route 65 during morning or afternoon rush hours, who should you call? Your best friend? Your mom? Your mechanic? No. Wait for arrival of the Placer County Freeway Service Patrol.
What is the Freeway Service Patrol?
The Freeway Service Patrol is a special team of tow trucks operators trained, certified, and contracted by PCPTA to continuously patrol Interstate 80 and State Route 65 during rush hours, looking for disabled vehicles and minor accidents. These incidents cause about half of all freeway congestion. The basic idea with Freeway Service Patrol is to keep traffic flowing smoothly and safely. The service is free and sponsored jointly by PCTPA, Caltrans, and the California Highway Patrol.
Where does the Freeway Service Patrol operate?
The Placer County Freeway Service Patrol operates on Interstate 80 from the Sacramento County line at Riverside Avenue to State Route 49, and on State Route 65 from Interstate 80 to Twelve Bridges Drive.
When does the Freeway Service Patrol operate?
The Freeway Service Patrol operates Monday through Friday during morning (6:30 am to 10:00 am) and afternoon (2:30 pm to 6:30 pm) rush hours in Placer County to help motorists with car trouble. Service Patrol also operates on Sunday afternoons on Interstate 80 to help with recreational traffic, and coming soon in 2021, the service will also operate on Interstate 80 on the following Monday holidays: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
What services does the Freeway Service Patrol offer?
Freeway Service Patrol services are free during morning and afternoon rush hours. When you are stranded on the freeway during rush hours, here is what the Freeway Service Patrol can do to get your car back up and running:
- Give you a gallon of gas
- Jump start your car
- Change a flat tire
- Provide other temporary repairs
If the Freeway Service Patrol cannot provide a quick fix for you, they will tow you off the freeway free of charge to a designated CHP safe zone. If needed, the Freeway Service Patrol will contact the CHP to request additional assistance for you.
Keep in mind that the Freeway Service Patrol is for non-emergency situations only. If you have been in a collision, or if you are stuck in a dangerous spot, you should call 911 so the CHP can get you to safety as soon as possible.
How do I reach the Freeway Service Patrol?
If you have a car problem while driving on the freeway, the first thing you should do is move safely to the side of the road. If you are in the service area, the Freeway Service Patrol will find you during rush hours. During non-service hours or if you are outside the service area, once you have stopped your vehicle on the side of the road, a cell phone should be used to get assistance.
From one recent commuter: “My car had just stopped while I was in the middle of 65. Being on the side of the freeway, not so much fun! Even though I was off the white line and seemed to be in the clear, I still had fears. Eddie was there in less than 10 minutes and it put my mind at ease. I did not know that the state had traffic safety patrol who made sure people were safe. The appreciation I cannot even explain. Thank you for making sure I was safe and out of harm’s way!
How will I recognize the Freeway Service Patrol?
All Freeway Service Patrol trucks are white and easily recognizable by the logo. Drivers wear blue uniforms and brightly colored vests with the logo. Drivers also carry a photo ID card issued by the CHP.
What is even better than getting helped by the Freeway Service Patrol for free is not breaking down in the first place. So, remember to drive safely and keep your car properly maintained.