Traffic Incident Management
The Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program in the State of Florida is comprised of local, state and private partners including law enforcement, fire rescue, emergency medical services, transportation, towing and recovery service providers, medical examiners, hazardous material responders, media, etc. Regional TIM teams have been established in many areas of the state. The primary focus of these teams is to improve the 3 C’s: communication, coordination, and cooperation among incident responders. The benefits include reducing incident-related congestion, improving response and clearance times, preventing secondary crashes, improving traffic flow and air quality, decreasing the economic impacts of incidents and most importantly…improving responder and motorist safety.
The Federal Highway Administration defines Traffic Incident Management as a planned and coordinated process to detect, respond to, and remove traffic incidents and restore traffic capacity as safely and quickly as possible.
In 2002, the Department of Transportation and the Florida Highway Patrol signed Florida’s Open Roads Policy. This policy is an agreement between the two agencies to work together to clear incidents within 90 minutes. Some incidents take longer to clear- especially those involving multiple vehicles, serious injuries or fatalities or those involving hazardous materials.
With Road Rangers and very proactive responders, Florida attempts to reduce these incident related delays. Exercising good incident scene management also increases the safety of the responders and can reduce the potential for secondary crashes.
Incidents can be anything from a disabled vehicle on the side of the road to a major traffic crash involving multiple vehicles or even a commercial vehicle carrying hazardous materials. Those are the most commonly thought of incidents but many more exist: debris, fog, wildfires and the associated smoke or other law enforcement activities.