RALEIGH - Motorists already see bright yellow N.C. Department of Transportation trucks patrolling the interstates in the Triad on weekdays, ready to respond to accidents and help stranded drivers. Starting Saturday, NCDOT will expand its Incident Management Assistance Patrol, or IMAP, service to include weekends in eight counties.
"Operating IMAP seven days a week will help us improve safety and reduce congestion on the area's most heavily traveled roads," said NCDOT Triad Regional Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer Jeron Monroe. "When incidents occur, our team will be there to make sure traffic continues to flow as efficiently as possible."
IMAP patrols will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday. They will ride along interstates and major highways such as I-40, I-85, U.S. 29 and U.S. 52 in Alamance, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Orange, Randolph and Rowan counties.
When accidents happen, IMAP drivers direct traffic while law enforcement officers respond to the situation. They also move disabled cars out of traffic lanes to prevent traffic backups and additional crashes, and carry tools to help motorists stranded with flat tires, dead batteries or empty gas tanks get back on the road safely. In 2009, IMAP drivers statewide made 63,000 stops to assist with these kinds of incidents.
The expansion will also include the addition of weekend hours at NCDOT's Triad Regional Transportation Management Center, or TMC, in Greensboro. The TMC employees monitor the area's live traffic cameras, talk with emergency responders and immediately deploy IMAP patrols to incidents when needed.
NCDOT reminds motorists that they are required to move over at least one lane when an IMAP truck is stationed along the roadway just as they would for a law enforcement vehicle. This state law was enacted to protect both the IMAP drivers who serve as the good Samaritans of the highway and the motorists who rely on North Carolina roads to get where they need to go.
This service expansion will help accomplish Gov. Bev Perdue's goals of providing safe and efficient access to jobs and education.