The Iowa Department of Transportation is expanding its “Highway Helper” program.
Scott Marler, director of the DOT’s Office of Traffic Operations, says two safety patrol trucks have been in operation in Des Moines. Four more trucks were added in metro areas of eastern and western Iowa today.
“We’re expanding the program into the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids metro area, as well as the Council Bluffs metro area,” Marler said. “So, we’re putting two trucks in Iowa City-Cedar Rapids and two trucks in Council Bluffs.” The Highway Helper vehicles assist motorists with flat tires, jump starts, fuel, and transports free of charge. Marler says the ultimate goal is to improve highway safety.
“It really is about keeping traffic moving because we know that traffic backups can lead to very dangerous conditions,” Marler said. The two trucks added in eastern Iowa will mostly operate on I-80 through Iowa City and I-380 between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.
“For the Council Bluffs area, we’ll mostly be focused on Interstates 29 and 80,” Marler said. The patrol vehicles will be in operation on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. and during select high-traffic holidays, according to Marler.