Gov. Malloy Announces State Farm Named as Sponsor of Highway Assistance Motorist Patrol Program
New Sponsorship Maintains Funding for Valuable Service to Continue Responding to Traffic Incidents and Assist Stranded Motorists while Saving Taxpayer Dollars
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced a new sponsorship agreement between the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and State Farm™ that will allow the department to continue the Connecticut Highway Assistance Motorist Patrol (CHAMP). The program, which will be renamed the “CTDOT State Farm Safety Patrol,” has been in operation for more than 20 years and enhances highway safety by proactively patrolling and assisting stranded motorists, and provides better traffic control at incident scenes to alleviate congestion and prevent secondary crashes.
“Keeping our highways safe requires proactive management of daily traffic incidents in order to ensure that anyone involved remains protected and these occurrences do not become exacerbated by secondary accidents,” Governor Malloy said. “Our transportation department’s highway assistance program assists motorists who have found themselves in unfortunate situations. By working with State Farm through this innovative funding approach, we are able to ensure that this highway safety program can continue providing the same high-level of service, while actually reducing costs to our state’s taxpayers.”
CTDOT’s new State Farm Safety Patrol will continue to be an integral part of the state’s incident management program by providing limited roadside assistance at no charge to drivers in need, including providing fuel, changing flat tires, jump-starting vehicles, and moving disabled vehicles to the shoulder. State Farm operates similar programs in 15 other states.
“Our support of CTDOT’s State Farm Safety Patrol program embodies our ‘good neighbor’ philosophy,” Matthew Hodson, State Farm Vice President of Agency, said. “It also underscores the continued commitment State Farm has to auto safety, while helping people recover from the unexpected, which is the heart of the State Farm mission.”
**To download photos and video footage of the CTDOT State Farm Safety Patrol in action, click here**
The funding provided through State Farm’s sponsorship will now offset the cost to the state to operate the program. The remainder of the cost for the program is borne by the Federal Highway Administration.
“National statistics show that for every minute a highway lane is blocked, the resulting traffic congestion takes four minutes to clear, and the chance of secondary crashes rises,” CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker explained. “In 2016, CHAMP responded to nearly 16,000 service calls, helping to quickly and safely clear roadside incidents, and we’re proud to continue to provide those same important services with this sponsorship.”
The Safety Patrol program is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Award.
“There are more than 30,000 fatalities on U.S. roads each year,” Amy Jackson-Grove, Division Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in Connecticut, said. “The FHWA, which pays for a share of the CTDOT State Farm Safety Patrol program, knows that the men and women who carry out the Safety Patrol work are directly helping to make America’s highways safer. Their role has never been more important.”
Each weekday, CTDOT State Farm Safety Patrol vehicles patrol highways across Connecticut including I-84, I-91, I-95, I-291, I-395, Route 2, Route 7, Route 8 and Route 15 (Merritt Parkway). In addition to assisting stranded motorists, the Safety Patrol works with the Connecticut State Police to manage traffic incidents. The Safety Patrol also clears debris from the highway in an effort to improve traffic flow and prevent future incidents.
Additional information about the program and State Farm’s sponsorship is available at www.AssistPatrol.com. Motorists who are assisted by the patrol can share their stories on social media using the hashtag #AssistPatrol.
State Farm also sponsors Safety Patrols in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.