Charlotte - To say 2016 has been an interesting year for the Metrolina region's State Farm Safety Patrol, known also as the Incident Management Assistance Patrol (IMAP) would be an understatement. The 12 drivers who cover 11 counties, including Mecklenburg, have seen a variety of spills on the road this year -from nails to potatoes to containers of coffee -yet they continue to provide an invaluable service to local drivers and to folks just passing through.
Of the more than 55,000 stops IMAP has provided this year across North Carolina, the Metrolina drivers had over 14,290. These stops range from debris removal to fixing a flat tire or providing traffic control for more serious incidents involving multiple agencies.
"Our IMAP program is home to some of the best employees and people in our state," said Regional Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer Tony Tagliaferri. "Our drivers spend each day in interstate traffic, assisting motorists who have been in an incident or are stranded. We appreciate these men and women who help so many people every day under high-pressure conditions."
From time to time, a citizen will provide feedback on an experience with an IMAP driver. Back in October, retired Navy veteran Pete Thompson and his wife, Rose, blew a tire on their RV while driving through Charlotte on I-77. Pete writes, "We were in a very bad place to stop and I was beside myself as to how I was going to get the situation remedied. We were stopped about 10 minutes and along came your truck -North Carolina IMAP with Terry (Locklear) at the wheel."
Within 10 minutes, the tire was changed and the Thompsons were on the road again. Pete adds, "I had not known about your service in the state of North Carolina, but we are very grateful. Terry's professional and courteous attitude was very refreshing and commendable."
NCDOT welcomes feedback from citizens who were assisted by an IMAP driver or who wish to offer other suggestions to the department.
An online survey is currently available through Dec. 31 at go.ncsu.edu/customerservice2016. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and is mobile friendly.
The N.C. General Assembly requires the survey to gauge how the transportation department is providing great customer service. Participation can help NCDOT identify ways to make North Carolina transportation services safer, more efficient and customer focused.