The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) now has Road Rangers patrolling all sections of the interstates that pass through Central Florida. The latest addition coming on April 1, as Road Rangers started patrols on I-95 in Brevard, Volusia, and Flagler counties.
It’s as simple as dialing *347 (same as *FHP) for help, through your cell phone.
Road Rangers assist motorists whose vehicles have become disabled, and provide assistance during traffic incidents with their flashing lights and other visual-lighted signage that urges drivers to give first responders safe space. The Road Rangers also help change tires, assist people who have run out of gas, and do minor fix-ups to get motorists moving again. This helps reduce congestion and the risk of crashes.
Road Rangers service is free.
The new service is part of a five-year, $7.3 million contract that funds Road Rangers on both I-95 and I-75. The I-75 Road Rangers patrols were phased in earlier, and have been on patrol since last summer in Sumter and Marion counties. The contract calls for five Road Rangers to patrol on I-95, Monday-Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Additionally, two Road Rangers patrol I-75 in Marion and Sumter counties seven days a week during the same hours. A third Road Ranger patrol on I-75 will be added this summer. Road Rangers are not intended to replace services like AAA, but provide a no-cost alternative.
Road Rangers also assist law enforcement at crash scenes by regulating traffic.
AutoBase Inc., is the provider of the Road Ranger crews on I-95 and I-75. Road Rangers also patrol I-4 in Central Florida, including special patrols in the I-4 Ultimate construction zone. Other contracts fund those patrols. According to takethehighway.net, “When a repair or crash exceeds the services the Road Rangers can offer, Road Rangers can push the vehicle to the nearest safe spot. At that point, the Florida Highway Patrol will contact a towing or repair service.” The site also notes: “In some cases, a phone call is not necessary. Traffic spotters can see disabled vehicles in visible locations and will automatically summon a Road Ranger to provide assistance. With good timing, a Road Ranger can show up in just a few minutes.”