CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — Traveling on the freeways brings its own challenges and frustrations.
Everything from traffic accident delays to tire punctures that leave you stranded on the side of the road.
But the Florida Department of Transportation’s “Road Ranger” program hopes to help make the trip as pleasant as possible.
FDOT started the ranger program in Northwest Florida just a few years ago.
This is a free assistance service along I-10 and US 231.
“Let’s say you go to work in the morning, or you come home and you have a flat tire or you’re overheating, we have water on the truck, we’ll change a tire for you. Everything to get you started,” said ranger John Martin.
FDOT officials monitor traffic from Escambia to Jefferson Counties from inside their traffic management center.
“This has significantly reduced the time we have had closures on the freeway and US 231,” said FDOT Director of Public Information Ian Satter. “With their help, we are able to eliminate accidents more quickly, efficiently and safely and that is important for us because we need to ensure that people can get to their destination, that goods and services can continue to get around Northwest Florida, so they provide valuable service and it’s just nice to know that if something happens on the highway, someone is there to help.
Rangers are also asking drivers to be aware of this when assisting other drivers on the side of the road.
“It’s especially dangerous for us to be sitting there trying to work and having semis at over 70 mph passing you by,” Martin said. “It gets pretty scary out there, but it just helps if you move around or at least slow down.”
Another reminder… Rangers are protected by state “Move Over” law.
If you need a ranger, dial *347 for assistance.