SALT LAKE CITY — Heavy snowfall kept the Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team busy Monday — leaving them to assist hundreds of drivers stranded on busy thoroughfares.
Fender benders, spin outs, slide-offs – when snowstorms hit Utah, the Incident Management Team hits Utah streets even harder.
“We patrol the roads, we are looking for disabled vehicles, we’re looking for people that are having a bad day and we’re here to try and help them have a little bit better day,” Incident Management lead Ben Goddard said.
“Salt Lake, Tango 202, 10-46,” Ben said into a radio as his drove along I-15 Monday afternoon.
Ben is one of a dozen crew members that work to alleviate congestion on Utah highways.
Think of them like roadway superheroes, except instead of capes they wear fluorescent yellow – and instead of fighting bad guys, they fix bad situations.
“We see everything from pedestrians walking on the freeway to get from one point to another, to unfortunately, fatal accidents,” said Ben.
“Giving [drivers] a gallon of gas, changing a flat tire, or assisting with lane closures for accidents that are blocking the freeways,” Ben continued as he listed common service calls.
On a typical day, the IMTs may see 10-15 drivers in need. On a day with inclement weather, they could see hundreds.
“We see a lot of accidents,” Ben said. “It’s been a very busy day.”
Standing on the side of highways as cars speed by, it’s not always the safest job – but for Ben, it’s worth it.
“I’m glad that we’re able to be there to help in all circumstances, in essentially some really unfortunate times,” Ben said.
With cold temperatures lingering and ice patches covering roadways, the IMTs anticipate another busy day Tuesday. They ask that drivers stay aware and if you see an IMT, or any emergency responder, move over or slow down.