Crashes, spilled loads and stalled vehicles are all examples of traffic incidents. Here in Wisconsin and throughout the nation, these situations and the traffic congestion caused by them account for approximately one-fourth of all delays on our highway system. Traffic incidents also significantly impact the safety of both motorists and emergency responders.
Traffic Incident Management, or TIM, a collaborative effort of public safety and transportation agencies, consists of a planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to, and clear traffic incidents so that traffic flow may be restored as safely and quickly as possible. Effective TIM reduces the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims and emergency responders.
Wisconsin recognizes the importance of TIM in maintaining the operational safety and efficiency of the state’s roadways. The Traffic Incident Management Enhancement (TIME) Program is a comprehensive multi-agency, multi-discipline program, led by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), dedicated to:
- Improving responder safety
- Enhancing the safe, quick clearance of traffic incidents
- Supporting prompt, reliable, interoperable communications
The program, initiated in 1995, is a sustained initiative for assessing needs, developing solutions and strategies, and fostering the transportation-public safety partnerships that are essential for effective TIM.
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Current TIME Program activities and initiatives
Calendar of events - Provides information on upcoming TIME meetings and training opportunities. Dates, times and locations for each event are identified on each of the monthly pages.
Regional TIME Meetings - To facilitate discussion, build relationships and promote a consistent program statewide, TIME meetings are conducted in each of the five WisDOT Regions.
- Governor's Conference on Highway Safety - TIME Program partners with Wisconsin State Patrol’s Bureau of Transportation Safety (BOTS) to host ten TIM tracks at the Annual Governor’s Conference on Highway Safety.
WisDOT Emergency Traffic Control and Scene Management Guidelines - Guidelines were established to provide incident responders within the state of Wisconsin a uniform approach to emergency traffic control and scene management.
Legislation - TIME program works to promote laws (Move Over Law, Steer It, Clear It Law, etc.) designed to protect law enforcement officers, emergency responders, tow operators and highway maintenance personnel who are conducting business on Wisconsin’s roadways.
- TIME Quarterly Newsletters
The TIME Coalition
The Wisconsin TIME Coalition unites program partners across jurisdictions and disciplines, and facilitates continued collaboration in developing practical and innovative traffic incident management strategies that meet Wisconsin’s needs.
Emergency responders, including law enforcement, fire/rescue, emergency medical services, transportation, and towing and recovery are all subject to the dangers of working in or near live traffic. The TIME Coalition works to improve safety, enhance communications and create more efficient clearance of traffic incidents.
Marquis Young, State Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Engineer
WisDOT Traffic Management Center
433 W. St. Paul Ave., Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53203