Illinois Tollway Honored for Creating the TIMS2GO Mobile Incident Response Tool
2023 National Roadway Safety Awards recognize innovations to protect pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as pandemic spike in U.S. road fatalities continues largely unabated
The Illinois Tollway was honored with a 2023 National Roadway Safety Award today for creating the TIMS2GO Mobile Incident Response Tool, a mobile web application that provides its traffic managers with instant access to livestream video, incident details and status updates of roadway incidents on smartphones, tablets and laptops, helping them to quickly respond.
TIMS2GO is based on the Illinois Tollway’s Traffic and Incident Management System (TIMS), which uses an extensive range of intelligent transportation technologies, including roadway cameras and pavement sensors, to monitor and respond to incidents on the 294-mile Tollway system in Northern Illinois.
“TIMS2GO puts the resources of our Traffic Operations Center into our traffic and incident managers’ hands, providing real-time information necessary to make informed decisions anytime from anywhere,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse. “TIMS2GO is a great example of how the Illinois Tollway uses innovation and technology to put the safety of our customers and employees on our roadways first, and we are grateful for this prestigious award.”
Since its launch in late 2020, the Illinois Tollway has used the TIMS2GO app an average 115 times monthly. The Tollway credits it for reducing the average time to confirm and respond to incidents by nearly 12 percent – from 5.1 minutes in 2019 to 4.5 minutes in 2023.
Beyond getting lifesaving first responders to a scene, faster and more efficient responses can help clear crashes more quickly. That helps reduce backups that can lead to additional, and often more serious, rear-end collisions.
Traffic and incident managers who are away from the Tollway Traffic Operations Center can use the app’s livestream video to direct roadway cameras to zoom in on key details and help manage response to roadway incidents.
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 294 miles of roadways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.
2023 National Roadway Safety Awards
The 10 National Roadway Safety Award winners and two honorable mentions are using proactive, data-driven, collaborative and cost-effective approaches to better protect pedestrians, cyclists and motorists across the country. Much of their work began amid a nationwide spike in vehicular crashes during the pandemic, when U.S. roadway fatalities rose 7.3 percent in 2020 and a further 10.1 percent in 2021 before holding steady at a high level in 2022 (-0.3 percent).
Early estimates for the first half of 2023 show crash fatalities declined slightly but remain at levels not seen since the mid-2000s. Between January and June, fatalities nationwide declined by an estimated 3.3 percent, compared with the first six months of 2022, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
First-half 2023 fatalities in Illinois stayed about the same: An estimated 599 people died on Illinois roads, a .2 percent uptick from the same time frame last year, according to NHTSA’s preliminary data.
The continued high fatality numbers demonstrate the value of safety innovations like the Illinois Tollway’s TIMS2GO app and the 11 other projects from across the nation.
The National Roadway Safety Awards, presented biannually since 1999, are sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the nonprofit Roadway Safety Foundation. Projects were evaluated on safety effectiveness, innovation and efficient use of resources.
“The problem-solving creativity and dedication shown by the Illinois Tollway will save countless lives -- using a data driven approach and practices that are proven to reduce crashes,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “It demonstrates a strong commitment to moving Illinois toward zero deaths and serious injuries on the state’s roadways, and we are proud to applaud their efforts.”
“The stubbornly elevated fatality numbers underscore the urgent need for innovations like the National Roadway Safety Award honorees’ projects,” said Roadway Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Hamilton. “With several initiatives already showing major reductions in fatalities, injuries and crashes, today’s honorees are shining a bright light on the path to safer travel.”
Other honorees are:
- North Carolina: NCDOT for reducing severe crashes at rural intersections by adding more all-way stops
- Florida: FDOT for demonstrating how skid-resistant pavement can shorten stopping distances at high-speed intersections
- Louisiana: Acadiana Planning Commission for reducing severe crashes at rural “T” intersections using larger signs and rumble strips to alert distracted drivers
- Texas: TxDOT for reducing pedestrian fatalities on an Austin highway, particularly among people experiencing homelessness
- Delaware: DelDOT for reducing fatal and serious injury crashes by converting more intersections to all-way stops
- New Jersey: South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization for developing a plan to prioritize cyclist and pedestrian safety in rural Cumberland County
- New Jersey/New York: The Port Authority of NY & NJ for reducing crashes by using timely data analysis to proactively identify and address safety problems
- Minnesota: MnDOT for its widespread use of “J-turn” intersections on high-speed divided highways to reduce the severity of crashes
- California: Caltrans for implementing pedestrian protections, signs to prevent wrong-way driving and other cost-effective safety measures more quickly
- Virginia: VDOT (Honorable Mention) for funding lower-cost safety projects in a more systemic way aimed at preventing traffic fatalities and serious injuries
- Nevada: NDOT (Honorable Mention) for its first comprehensive plan to reduce speeding, a leading cause of fatal and severe crashes
Winners were selected by an expert panel of judges:
- Lori Diaz, The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation
- Jennifer Hall, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
- Adam Kirk, Kentucky Transportation Center
- Stephen Read, Virginia Department of Transportation
- Brian Roberts, Transportation Research Board
- Terecia Wilson, Clemson University
For complete details on each of the winners and for more information on the national awards program, visit: www.roadwaysafety.org/awards
The Roadway Safety Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization. Our mission is to reduce the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities by improving roadway systems and their environment.