The Alabama Department of Transportation aims to increase motorist safety and improve traffic flow by introducing the Alabama Service and Assistance Patrol (ASAP) program in Tuscaloosa.

ASAP is a free service that arrives on scene to assist with crashes, disabled vehicles, or any other obstruction that hinders the flow of traffic on Interstate 20/59 between exits 71 and 89 during the week from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. ASAP drivers are always looking for issues on the road as they patrol, but if needed, motorists needing assistance can reach ASAP during operating hours by calling the West-Central Regional Traffic Management Center at (205) 348-5198.

Services provided by ASAP include changing a flat tire, jump-starting a battery, providing water for an overheated vehicle and giving a limited amount to gas to get a motorist to the nearest exit with a gas station available. ASAP is not a vehicle towing service, but can help motorists get to a safe place.

ASAP drivers complete a National Traffic Incident Management Responder Program and other training and certification programs in preparation for their work. They also work with law enforcement and other emergency responders for greater efficiency and effectiveness.

ASAP drivers use a white pick-up truck with ALDOT, ALGO Traffic and ASAP logos placed along the sides of the vehicle, along with amber emergency lights on top. ASAP trucks are outfitted with traffic cones, push bumpers, a mobile weather station and other special equipment.

ALDOT first introduced ASAP in Birmingham and added the program in Mobile, before recently installing it in Montgomery. The Tuscaloosa program currently has one ASAP driver, with the intention on adding more soon.

ALDOT's mission is to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally sound transportation network across Alabama. For more information, visit www.dot.state.al.us.