California Department of Transportation
 

California Department of Transportation

Headquarters - Public Affairs Office
Tamie McGowen
(916) 657-5060

April 2, 2007

CALTRANS AND CHP TO HOST EMERGENCY RESPONSE SUMMIT

Riverside - The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) announce the first ever joint conference to improve emergency response efforts with key participants in Highway Incident Management. The summit is scheduled on April 3-4, 2007, at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, California.

The conference will bring together transportation and public safety professionals who are responders to highway incidents, including tow service contractors, local emergency services providers, county coroners, commercial haulers, hazardous material clean-up contractors, and county environmental officials.

“We are working hard to make our highways safer and get traffic moving quickly following accidents,” Caltrans Director Will Kempton said. “We have made progress. The average clearance time for more than 700 incidents in 2005 was 3.2 hours, down from 5.5 hours in 2003 – a 42 percent improvement. But, we need to do better.”

Up to 25 percent of all traffic congestion is due to highway emergency incidents. It is the goal of this summit to develop enhanced coordinated efforts among emergency responders and to reduce motorist delays while increasing safety.

Caltrans Director Will Kempton and CHP Commissioner Mike Brown will be present to address attendees. The agenda includes topics such as the national view on incident management, roles of Caltrans and the CHP, responder safety, and prompt, reliable traffic incident communication and coordination.

"Keeping the roadway open and traffic moving is a primary focus of the CHP,” said CHP Commissioner Mike Brown. “With the use of modern technology and increased patrol officers, we anticipate not only fewer crashes, but quicker response times to reopen roadways."

The conference is free to all interested individuals; however, seating is limited to 200.