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Service patrols now on Bypass for commute

A stalled vehicle during the commute on South County freeways can have a drastic impact on traffic causing back-ups and major slowdowns.

The impact of such occurrences is now being tempered.

Earlier this week the Freeway Service Patrol – a joint effort between the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation – started operating in the Manteca-Ripon area on both the Highway 99 and the Highway 120 Bypass.

The free service offered Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 a.m. as well as 3 to 7 p.m. includes:

*offering you a free gallon of gas if you run out.

*jump start your battery if it is dead.

*refill your radiator and tape leaky hoses

*change a flat tire if you have a spare.

According to California Highway Patrol Stockton Public Information Officer Charlie Katzakian, the service had previously been restricted to the Tracy area along Interstate 205 but now include the commute-heavy areas in the Manteca area before an additional zone in the North County near Lodi is rolled out later this year.

The program, which contracts with local tow companies that patrol the targeted roadways providing complementary tows for stranded vehicles, will focus on Highway 120 from Airport Way to Highway 99 as well as Highway 99 from Yosemite Avenue to Jack Tone Road in Ripon.

Both the morning and evening commute hours will be included in the service, which is paid for through local funding allocations through the San Joaquin Council of Governments generated from Measure K sales tax receipts.

“In the regions of the state where FSP is deployed, FSP tow truck drivers are a cost-effective complement to many of the motorist services that are provided by the CHP beat officer,” the Stockton CHP office released in a statement announcing the arrival of the program. “Due to the structure of the FSP tow truck driver is frequently the first on scene at freeway incidents.

“As such, the FSP tow truck driver provides valuable ‘real time’ information about the incident to the CHP Communications Center.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.