HOUSTON – A major media campaign is underway to raise awareness of the new Tow and Go program. It replaces the 13-year-old Safe Clear program to get stalled vehicles off Houston freeways but unlike Safe Clear it will do so at no cost to the driver.
Here are five things you should know about Tow and Go:
What is Tow and Go?
The Gulf Coast Regional Tow and Go Program provides safe, quick clearance, at no cost, of vehicles that have broken down on area freeways from mechanical failure (running out of gas, overheating, flat tires or another system failure that prevents the vehicle from operating, reducing traffic congestion and the chance of dangerous secondary incidents that put lives at risk
"The importance of the program is to keep traffic moving and it's also a safety issue," said David, Fink, project manager, regional incident management for Houston TranStar.
What freeways are in the Tow and Go service area?
Right now, Tow and Go is only available on camera-monitored freeways within the city of Houston. The regional quick clearance program will expand next to all of Harris County and eventually to freeways in neighboring counties where camera coverage is available and as funding is allocated.
"It will be tow truck drivers patrolling the roads, people calling in and then if we see it on camera we will be dispatching a tow truck," Fink said.
Do Tow and Go apply to motorcycles, RVs or vehicles towing boat trailers?
Motorcycles are included in the program. If a large recreational vehicle or trailer is too heavy to be towed by responding operators, other arrangements not included in the program may need to be made.
How is Tow and Go available for free?
The Houston-Galveston Area Council manages the Gulf Coast Regional Tow and Go Program through funding provided by the Federal Highway Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation. Initial participants in the program include the city of Houston, Harris County and representatives from the towing industry that operate out of Houston TranStar.