The Motorist Service Patrol began as a two-year pilot project on December 20, 2001. The program is operated by the Dane County Sheriff's Office under a contract with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The total cost of this two-year pilot is $550,660.00, funded by a Federal Grant and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
The vehicle is an extended cap, four-wheel drive pickup truck with special equipment to assist motorists. The vehicle is equipped with a changeable message sign, appropriate fluids, traffic cones and other appropriate equipment needed to assist a stranded motorist.
Hours of operation will be 7:00AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, and operates on USH 12-18 from Interstate 39 - 90 to Old Sauk Road.
All services provided by the Dane County Sheriff's Office Motorist Service Patrol are free of charge to the motorist.
The program is being evaluated by the University of Wisconsin Madison to determine the overall effectiveness.
Data from the Freeway Service Team from Dec 2001 - Dec 2009 (PDF format)
The goal of the Motorist Service Patrol is to mitigate the impact of minor traffic incidents by providing free roadside assistance. It is not intended to provide all of the services that may be necessary to mitigate these minor incidents. Services that are not provided by the Motorist Service Patrol include:
There are instances where the Motorist Service Patrol may be required to take enforcement actions, or upon request assist another agency. The Motorist Service Patrol will follow all policies and procedures of the Dane County Sheriff's Office. The duties of a Deputy Sheriff will supersede any conflicting duties of the Motorist Service Patrol.
Should an incident occur on the Beltline within one of the adjacent local communities and local law enforcement responds, the Motorist Service Patrol will defer to the jurisdiction of the local law enforcement agency present. The Motorist Service Patrol will be responsible for clearing the beltline of vehicles or debris that causes slowdowns. Deputies will focus on these issues and will not be responsible for criminal or traffic crash investigations that occur on the Beltline.
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