State Farm Insurance won the bid to sponsor the New Jersey DOT highway Safety Service Patrol, enabling NJDOT to have the patrols on state and Interstate highways seven days a week, according to a report by Newsroom New Jersey.
State Farm will provide NJDOT $1.8 million annually for three years, with two annual renewal options to support the patrol program, including safety equipment, reflective tape for patrol vehicles, brochures and comment cards. The agreement is an example of public-private agreements Gov. Chris Christie wants to foster in what he sees as an effort to improve public services.
Safety Patrol drivers patrol 225 mi. of Interstate and state highways throughout New Jersey. Patrol assistance includes changing a flat tire, pushing a disabled vehicle off to the shoulder, pulling a vehicle stuck in mud or snow back onto the road, providing gasoline and making minor repairs. SSP trucks are also dispatched to crash scenes and coordinates efforts with the State Police to create safe zones for emergency responders. There is never a charge to motorists for the services provided.
The NJDOT launched the patrol program in 1994 with the mission to enhance safety on New Jersey roadways and reduce traffic congestion. Patrol areas include route 80, 78, 280, 287,95, 295, 19, 29, 76, 676, 42 and 55.
“We are proud to team with State Farm on this joint venture that supports the Safety Service Patrol program and which creates opportunities for NJDOT to direct funding to other high-priority safety projects that will benefit New Jersey residents,” Commissioner James Simpson said.
“Part of the mission of State Farm is to help individuals recover from the unexpected,” John Antonacci, State Farm vice president-agency said. “As a leading automobile insurer in the Garden State, a partnership like this supports the commitment of State Farm to automobile and driver initiatives that assist motorists traveling our roadways. The goal of the Safety Service Patrol is driver and passenger safety.”
State Farm sponsors motorist-assist patrols in seven other states including New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Indiana and Kansas.
In return for the financing, the State Farm logo will appear prominently on 52 state-owned and operated patrol trucks, 120 roadside signs, on the uniforms of NJDOT employees who serve as patrol drivers, on the patrol’s web page and on the comment cards that drivers provide to assisted motorists.