State Farm will sponsor roadside assistance
Updated 7:05 pm, Friday, May 19, 2017
HARTFORD — State Farm Insurance will pay about half a million dollars annually for the next three years, taking over Connecticut’s share of a popular roadside service program that assists 16,000 stranded motorists a year.
The familiar orange state DOT trucks will feature “State Farm Safety Patrol” signage as part of the $4.5 million-a-year program, which is 90 percent funded by federal transit dollars. The vehicles in the Connecticut Highway Assistance Motorist Patrol program patrol Interstate 84, I-95, Route 7, Route 8, the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways and other major roads.
“This covers the cost from the department’s operating budget,” said state Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, who hosted a news conference in the sun-blasted Capitol parking lot.
Twenty eight drivers staff the patrol, which assists in roadside emergencies.
“The role that the CHAMP program is really extraordinary,” said Redeker, summarizing the positive assessments stranded drivers give the program.
“The patrols will assist broken-down cars, flat tires from the sides of the highway and are going to make things continue to be easier than they would otherwise,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “I have an appreciation for the hard work that our folks are doing on the highway. I have an appreciation for a new partner in making sure that this service continues. And I have an appreciation for the people of Connecticut putting up with our under-investment in transportation for the better part of 40 years.”
Matthew Hodson, senior vice president for State Farm, said the roadside program gives people peace of mind during periods of helplessness and stress.
“It’s that moment where you want somebody to be there quickly, if at all possible,” Hodson said. “And this kind of a program with the Department of Transportation, really is a program where anybody, whether they’re a State Farm policy holder or any citizen in the state of Connecticut can call 911, let them know where they are and they can get assistance for changing a tire or a battery or whatever the case might be. It’s really all about safety.”
State Farm sponsors safety patrols in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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