Photo/Story Gallery 2006

Agencies Work Together in Turnpike Exercise

Paul Wai of the Florida Turnpike Enterprise and Chief Lee of the Florida Highway Patrol speak to visiting attendees.The Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) hosted members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for a Rapid Incident Scene Clearance (RISC) exercise incorporating the use of heavy towing equipment and technology to upright an overturned tractor-trailer and clear the incident scene. The demonstration took place in the parking lot of the Troop K station in Orlando.

Pictured: Paul Wai of the Florida Turnpike Enterprise and Chief Jim Lee of the Florida Highway Patrol speak to visiting attendees.

Representatives from the Turnpike, Florida Highway Patrol, Orange County Fire-Rescue and the Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida conducted the exercise – a successful example of intergovernmental agency cooperation – to restore traffic flow following a serious roadway incident. The demonstration sought to follow the 90-minute timeframe established in the Open Roads Policy as the goal for incident clearance and resumption of roadway traffic.

Paul Wai of The Florida Turnpike, and Chief Jim Lee of Florida Highway Patrol, speak to visiting attendees. A semi on its side in a simulated roll-over crash with a tow truck moving into place to pick it up Paul Wai of The Florida Turnpike, and Chief Jim Lee of Florida Highway Patrol, speak to visiting attendees. An overturned semi up-rightedThe RISC demonstration was coordinated with Lap Hoang, FDOT’s State Traffic Operations Engineer. “The Florida Department of Transportation is pleased that the AASHTO conference (held in Orlando in September) afforded us the opportunity to share with transportation executives from across the country the best practices and lessons learned implementing the highly successful RISC program on Florida’s Turnpike,” said Hoang. “Placing a priority on clearing our highways safely and quickly provides numerous benefits to all Florida residents and visitors alike.”

Pictured left, a semi on its side in a simulated roll-over crash with a tow truck moving into place to pick it up and right, an overturned semi up-righted.

The Turnpike’s innovative RISC program, the first such program in the nation, has reduced serious incident duration times by an average of 29 minutes, a decrease of almost 20 percent since 2004.

The demonstration was a success and showcased the cooperative efforts of Florida Highway Patrol, Orange County Fire Department, Florida Turnpike, FDOT, Motor Carrier Compliance, and the RISC contractor Johnsons Wrecker Service.