VDOT Helps Albemarle County Drivers

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

August 15, 2006

Virginia's Department of Transportation is starting a new program to help drivers stranded on roads in Albemarle County. The department will start patrolling I-64 from Crozet to Shadwell, and Rt. 29 from the I-64 Interchange to Barrack's Road to help those in need.

The workers will keep a lookout for those short of gas, cellphone service, or even a tire change during the morning and evening hours.

"Folks that are disabled, we'll be available to provide them quick assistance, to get them back on the road, and get them off of the interstate in a safe location," said Dean Gustafson of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

It is the mission of the new 'Safety Service Patrols' created by the Virginia Department of Transportation. VDOT says their new program is there to provide comfort in many ways to 50,000 drivers in Albemarle County.

"Things like jump starting your vehicle, providing water, tires, gas, having a cell phone available to make an emergency call, and removing debris from the roadway," added Gustafson.

Drivers are already honking in favor of the patrols.

"Everyone was pleased for our assistance. We did not get any bad comments. All of it was positive," said Safety Service Patrol Worker Nathaniel Fauber."

The eyes and ears also assist Virginia State Police by clearing the roads faster between 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. every day for free.

The 'Safety Service Patrol' kicked off this week, and has already served about 10 people in a 40 mile area.

It is operating under a 3 year contract worth $128,000 a year.


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