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How to Get "Caltrans" Free Roadside Assistance in Los Angeles

Living in or visiting Los Angeles, you undoubtedly know of the traffic woes that plague the city. Los Angeles is often designated as the city with the worst traffic congestion, requiring motorists to be patient when driving during the rush hours (7 am-10 am and 4 pm- 7pm).

Having said that, one of the worst-case scenarios is experiencing car trouble on a Los Angeles road or highway. It can be extremely stressful—especially if your car breaks down in the middle lane of the 405. Not only are you in danger of being struck by other cars, but it is often unclear on hot to get help (not mentioning that I could happen on 100 degrees day).

The California Department of Transportation (“Caltrans”) recognized both Los Angeles’s traffic issues and the inherent problem of having stranded vehicles blocking ongoing traffic. In response, Caltrans has created a service that offers free roadside assistance to stranded drivers on Los Angeles freeways (the service is available only on freeways). Called the Metro Freeway Service Patrol (“FSP”), the service is a combined effort from Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol (“CHP”), and local transportation agencies. Not only was the FSP designed to help stranded drivers, but its goal is to reduce congestion and reduce accidents.

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Metro Freeway Service Patrol: What You Need to Know

The FSP provides roadside protection when you need it the most. It is the largest type of roadside assistance program in the entire country. The program works by utilizing a roving group of local tow and service trucks who are always on call. You always see those white tow trucks with the yellow logo standing on the side of freeway. Once they receive reports of a disabled vehicle, the tow and service trucks travel to the vehicle, working to either get the disabled vehicle running again or tow the vehicle from the highway to a designated safe location. They will only tow you off the freeway, and from there you are on your own.

You can obtain roadside assistance for several different types of incidents. The services include changing flat tires, jump-starting cars, refilling radiators and taping leaky hoses, providing up to one gallon of fuel, and towing disabled vehicles to designated safe locations off the freeway. To get help from the FSP, drivers only need to call 511 and say, “Motorist Aid.” They can make this call from either their cell phone or from a freeway callbox. From there, help will arrive momentarily. Once again, the service is absolutely free, so there is nothing to lose by calling for help if you are experiencing any of these vehicle issues.

According to the FSP, quickly removing drivers from the road can reduce the chances of further incidents—like accidents—from onlookers and impatient drivers. Along with this, the FSP program helps save fuel and reduces air emissions from stop-and-go traffic.

The Power of Free Roadside Assistance

In normal circumstances, drivers of all ages and experience levels face enough stress in California. However, experiencing a car malfunction or breakdown on a Los Angeles freeway is extremely stressful and time-consuming.

Luckily, drivers don’t have to tackle these issues alone. The FSP program is a terrific way that you can get free roadside assistance when you need it the most. Therefore, when taking on Los Angeles’s congested highways, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the FSP program. It can be the best possible solution when you need it the most.

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