The Georgia Department of Transportation, Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons and Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan announced today the expansion of the Highway Emergency Response Operators (HEROs) into Douglas County. The new route will consist of the section of I-20 stretching from Thornton Road at Exit 44 to SR 5 at Exit 34. Expansion in service will increase the 310 metro miles currently patrolled by the HERO Unit. Motorists can request assistance from a HERO unit by dialing 511 from any phone and select option "1."
"Douglasville and Douglas County has numerous commuters that use the I-20 corridor on a daily basis, and this joint partnership with the state funded HERO units will provide additional service benefits for our local residents, constituents and travelers," said Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons.
The HERO program is an integral part of a comprehensive effort to safely and efficiently keep traffic moving. One minute of lane blockage results in four to seven minutes of delay to motorists. HEROs are dispatched to traffic-related incidents with the primary duty to clear roads so that normal traffic flow is restored. Secondly, HEROs assist stranded motorists with minor mechanical problems at no cost.
Since 1996, the HERO Unit has grown from 12 operators to 104. In 2012, the HEROs managed more than 120,380 incident and disabled motorist calls in metro Atlanta.
"We are honored to expand the miles we cover and the communities we touch in order to ease congestion and make the metro region a safer place to drive," said Michael Roberson, Incident Management Unit manager with GDOT. "Whether we are clearing a road from a minor incident or serving as a first responder at the scene of an accident, we want metro motorists to know that our help is just a call away."
For more information, including a map of the HERO routes, patrol times, FAQs and the request a HERO visit to your metro Atlanta school, visit www.511ga.org and click the tab marked "Extras."