State Farm kicks in half a mil to rescue highway rescue patrols

Dec 19, 2008

State Farm adds $500,000 for road patrols

By Michael Turnbell

South Florida Sun-Sentinel--December 19, 2008

Motorists in Broward and Palm Beach counties will soon see more Road Rangers on the interstates. The trucks will be sporting a new look, too.

State Farm Insurance said Thursday it is sponsoring the service patrol for three years, adding three more trucks to the fleet of 15 that roam I-95, I-75 and I-595.

The insurance company is providing $500,000 a year. The money will be used to buy three trucks, wrap the entire fleet with State Farm’s logo and hire additional drivers.

A few trucks already have State Farm’s red-and-white color scheme. The rest will get the new look by the end of January.

The hours for the service remain the same – 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

Two of the new trucks will join the 10 that patrol in Broward while one new truck will be added to the five that patrol in Palm Beach County.

Miami-based Sunshine Towing, which operates the Road Rangers for the state, made a plea in June for sponsors after the Legislature cut funding for the patrol in half.

The cuts forced the Road Rangers to eliminate weekend and late night hours and reduce the number of trucks on the road. The popular program provides free roadside assistance to motorists and assists in clearing wrecks.

“Fortunately, State Farm, like a good neighbor, was there,” said Sunshine Towing vice president Maggie Ramos, borrowing a line from State Farm’s ad campaign.

State Farm also sponsors the service patrol on Florida’s Turnpike, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and a toll road in the Denver area.