TxDOT Expands HERO Program to San Antonio
The Texas Department of Transportation is expanding HERO, its successful roadside assistance program.
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Help from a HERO
HERO trucks will provide a variety of services to help get stranded drivers up and running. They can swap out a flat tire, give your car a jump start, provide a gallon of gas, and help you push your car to a safe location. They won’t be able to tow your car, but they can lend you a phone to call a towing provider if your phone isn’t working.
Each truck will also stock a variety of road-safety equipment, including traffic cones, light-up arrow boards, strobe lights, and a direct line of communication to the TxDOT command center. This allows TxDOT to warn approaching drivers of the accident.
TxDOT traffic operations manager Dale Picha explained that HERO drivers do more than help motorists in need — they may also save the lives of would-be good Samaritans. He explained that when passing drivers stop to help stranded people, one or both parties can be fatally struck by cars in the process. Since HERO trucks are equipped with tools to block off a safe workspace, they can lead to overall safer road conditions.
Furthermore, HERO drivers will assist with cleanup in the event of a car crash, speeding up the road-reopening process and helping make the area safer for both drivers and first responders.
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Now serving San Antonio
While HERO coverage of San Antonio began on Aug. 31, the program is currently growing to include a larger fleet. By the time October rolls around, it will have 28 trucks ready to serve 14 major local highways. These will include Interstate 35, U.S. 90, U.S. 281, Loop 410, Loop 1604, Texas 151, and Interstate 10.
With two vehicles per route, the program aims to provide response times under 20 minutes. Currently, the HERO trucks are scheduled to serve primarily from 5 a.m.-9 p.m., with occasional overnight and weekend coverage.
To learn more about the program, check out the TxDOT website.
Kimiko Kidd is a native Daytonian. She graduated from Wright State University with degrees in environmental science and sociology. She loves her trusty old Honda Civic, but dreams of owning a 1974 Ford Falcon XB with a custom paint job and a vintage Kawasaki Z1000. In her free time, Kimiko can be found watercolor-painting, baking muffins, collecting rocks, playing old-school Nintendo games, writing her novel, sewing stuffed animals, and cosplaying as her favorite Mad Max characters. See more articles by Kimiko.