Motorist Assistance

Motorist Assistance

The RTC assists travelers with…

Roadside call boxes

Available to you if your car breaks down on the highway. When you pick up a handset in the yellow call box, you are connected to an operator who will contact the services you need. For instance, the operator will call the California Highway Patrol, a tow truck, emergency services and/or your relative or friend who can assist you. You may also use a call box to report collisions or highway incidents. There are 120 call boxes in Santa Cruz County.

A free tow service

Known as the Freeway Service Patrol, FSP roves segments of Highway 1 and Highway 17 looking to help you when you are stranded on the highway. They provide quick fixes to get you up and running or tow you off the highway. They commonly perform tasks such as changing a flat tire, jump-starting a vehicle, or providing gas. FSP services also benefit travelers who are backed-up behind the disabled vehicles on the highway by quickly removing the disabled vehicles and allowing traffic to return to normal conditions. The FSP Program has a cost benefit ratio of 2.5 to 1. Service is available during weekday commute hours and on a limited schedule on weekends (Highway 1 Schedule and Highway 17 Schedule). A brochure is available for additional information.

Extra California Highway Patrol enforcement

On Highway 17, the CHP encourages drivers to obey the rules of the road and drive safely. Extra CHP enforcement is a critical component of the Safe on 17 Program, which is designed to reduce the number of injury and fatal collisions on the Highway 17 Safety Corridor. Construction improvements and public education also improve safety on Highway 17. The Safe on 17 Task Force tracks injuries and fatal collisions and works together to support strategies to improve safety on Highway 17. As a result of these efforts, there has been a 39% reduction in injury and fatal collisions on Highway 17. The 2014 Safe on 17 Annual Report is available for additional information.

Provided by RTC SAFE and its partners

These motorist aid programs are provided by the RTC Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE) free of charge in coordination with Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol.

The RTC funds these programs using a combination of SAFE funds generated by a $1 fee on your vehicle registration and Freeway Service Patrol funds provided by Caltrans. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) also provides funding for CHP extra enforcement to cover Highway 17 in Santa Clara County.

RTC Contact

Ginger Dykaar – SAFE Program Manager
Transportation Planner

Amy Naranjo
Transportation Planning Technician
(831) 460-3200

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