Illinois Tollway unveils new look, new safety features for roadway H.E.L.P. trucks during Global Road Safety Week

Illinois Tollway unveils new look new safety features for roadway HELP trucks during Global Road Safety Week

They’re a familiar sight on the Illinois Tollway, but the Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H.E.L.P.) trucks are getting a new look and additional features to allow Tollway workers to more safely assist drivers, remove roadway debris and respond to traffic incidents.
The Tollway is updating the vehicles with a high-visibility color scheme, adding new lighting and installing a plow-like tool that allows Tollway workers to remove roadway debris without leaving their vehicle..
The trucks, formerly white with red lettering, are being repainted a fluorescent “safety” green that will make the vehicles more visible at night and in low-light conditions that are common during winter storms and other severe weather. The lettering will change from red to blue to increase visibility.
The heavy-duty front bumpers on the H.E.L.P. trucks are being replaced with a new “lane blade” feature that will allow their operators to lower the blade like a plow and clear debris from the roadway, rather than having the driver leave the safety of the truck and remove the debris by hand.
H.E.L.P trucks are often the first to arrive at a traffic incident, closing roadway lanes and removing debris, while providing an array of services to stranded motorists that include changing flat tires, providing jump starts, adding coolant and fuel, and calling for tow trucks.
The H.E.L.P. truck program plays a critical role on the Tollway system by quickly removing disabled vehicles from active traffic lanes, safeguarding those drivers and reducing the risk of secondary crashes. The new lane blade feature still will allow H.E.L.P. trucks to safely push disabled vehicles off the road and away from moving traffic.
New lighting added to the trucks will allow them to more brightly illuminate incident scenes and new digital features will allow their operators to more quickly post messages on their electronic sign boards to divert drivers away from crashes, debris or other roadway situations.
Supported by GEICO, 12 H.E.L.P. trucks patrol the 294-mile Tollway system from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and typically provide customers with roadside assistance within 15 minutes.
Last year, H.E.L.P. trucks patrolled more than 1.2 million miles on the Tollway and assisted nearly 29,000 drivers.
Tollway customers who need roadway assistance should dial *999. Drivers can learn more about the program and provide feedback online.
And remember to #BeSafeTogether during Global Road Safety Week and beyond!