UFTI Research Results in New Road Safety Patrols

Edited picture of a Road Rangers' truck

As a result of a study conducted by the University of Florida Transportation Institute in 2016, a new program with ten Road Rangers was rolled-out to start service in Brevard County, Fla., in April 2019, complementing recent expansions near Gainesville and Lake City.

Road Ranger Service Patrols are provided by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to assist with the clearance of road incidents, assisting motorists and responding to traffic incidents; they work with police, fire, EMS, and transportation agencies to mitigate incident impacts.

Previous research (Project # BDV26-977-02) completed by the University of Florida Transportation Institute and funded by FDOT created a decision support system (DSS) for managers who must decide if a roadway “warrants” the addition of a Safety Service Patrol (SSP). A computer tool was developed to facilitate the input of critical information about roadway segments necessary for the analysis. The UFTI researchers involved on this project were Dr. Yafeng Yin, and Dr. Siva Srinivasan, Enforcement Engineering, Inc. principal and UF alumnus Dr. Grady Carrick, and graduate students Khajonsak Jermprapai and Xiaotong Sun. This project was funded by FDOT as part of a match requirement for the Center for Multimodal Solutions for Congestion Mitigation (CMS), the 2007 U.S. Department of Transportation grant-funded, Tier-1 University Transportation Center housed at UF.

Coupled with analysis of more than 200 Road Rangers crashes, the project identified opportunities to make improvements to operations, equipment and training, and driver surveys revealed a need for a study on the uniforms worn by the rangers. Despite the variety of operator uniforms, legal and technical requirements at a national level dictate some choices, while color and style are largely left up to the discretion of each state. This lead to subsequent research by Dr. Carrick that designed new uniforms worn currently by road rangers statewide.