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Illinois Tollway launches hot weather patrols

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Illinois Tollway launches hot weather patrols
The Illinois Tollway today launched around-the-clock Hot Weather Patrols to more quickly locate and assist customers stranded along its roads during the dangerously high temperatures and humidity expected to continue through Thursday.

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — The Illinois Tollway has launched around-the-clock Hot Weather Patrols to more quickly locate and assist customers stranded along its roads during the dangerously high temperatures and humidity expected to continue through Thursday.

The Illinois Tollway typically operates Hot Weather Patrols whenever temperatures or heat indexes indicate conditions could be hazardous for stranded drivers, according to a news release.

The 24-hour patrols search for drivers stranded in disabled vehicles and respond to calls that come in to *999 motorist assistance, Illinois Tollway dispatch or Illinois State Police District 15.

“Protecting our customers is our highest priority, so during these dangerously hot conditions we’re adding these extra patrols to ensure we more rapidly find and assist any drivers who are stranded along our roads,” Illinois Tollway Interim Executive Director Lanyea Griffin said. “To provide additional protection to our customers and employees, these patrol vehicles continue to be outfitted with safety partitions and other equipment that is intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

While the Illinois Tollway’s Highway Emergency Lane Patrol (H.E.L.P.) trucks sponsored by State Farm run from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, a minimum of 12 Hot Weather Patrols are providing additional coverage around the clock into the weekend to augment H.E.L.P. trucks and Illinois State Police patrols.

The Hot Weather Patrols consist of crew cab trucks equipped with arrow boards for directing traffic around stranded vehicles and accommodate passengers if motorists need to get out of the heat or be transported to a Tollway maintenance garage or Tollway oasis while service is obtained.

Plastic partitions have been installed between the front and rear seats in these trucks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The trucks also are stocked with masks, hand sanitizers and gloves for stranded motorists who choose to wait inside the Tollway vehicles for a tow truck or need to be moved to a safer location.

The Hot Weather Patrols typically assist drivers whose cars or trucks have been disabled by empty fuel tanks, flat tires, batteries needing a boost, or overheated radiators.

Summer Travel Tips

  • Cell phone users should call *999 motorist assistance for roadway assistance and note the roadway and direction of travel and nearest milepost or crossroad.
  • Stranded motorists should turn on their emergency lights and remain with their vehicles until help arrives.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated. Driving on under-inflated tires can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout, especially when road temperatures are extremely high.
  • Make sure fluids are at appropriate levels. Most engine fluids lubricate and serve as coolants by helping carry heat away from critical components. Low fluid levels reduce the cooling effect and increase the possibility of overheating.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools and a first aid kit.
  • Drop It and Drive. Using a hand-held phone while driving is illegal in Illinois.
  • Give Them Distance. Drivers are required to slow down and move over when approaching any stopped vehicle that has its hazard lights activated.

The Illinois Tollway also reminds customers that oases located along the Tollway system provide drivers an opportunity to check their vehicles or simply take a break.

The oases provide a variety of food, beverage and retail offerings, as well as 7-Eleven stores and fuel stations.

On the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80), there are two oases with over-the-road pavilions at Lake Forest and the Chicago Southland Lincoln in South Holland and 7-Eleven stores and fuel stations at Hinsdale and O’Hare.

There are also oases with pavilions on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) in DeKalb and on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) in Belvidere.

 

The Trucker News Staff

The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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