Traffic Incident Management Cost Management and Cost Recovery Primer
Chapter 1. TIM Overview
TIM 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. A "good" TIM program is one in which responders go home every time, roadways are blocked for the minimum amount of time, and secondary crashes are reduced or eliminated. Sometimes TIM is used interchangeably with the term "transportation operations" or "traffic operations"; however, at a transportation agency, TIM is just one component of an overall transportation operations program or may even be part of the maintenance division. From a national perspective, TIM consists of four primary areas: legislation, policies, training, and outreach.
Regardless of where the responsibility for TIM lies within transportation agencies, operations managers increasingly look upon TIM as a transportation operations solution that promotes more efficient use of the existing roadway infrastructure. However, at agencies that are asked to assume the responsibilities of TIM costs, reduced funding levels continue to limit their ability to execute programs effectively.
TIM Programs can typically be divided into strategic activities, tactical activities, and support activities, as shown in Table 2 below.
An effective TIM program cannot be planned or executed by any single agency or discipline alone. This understanding led to the creation of goals and objectives through the National Unified Goal (NUG), developed by FHWA, AASHTO, the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition (NTIMC), and other Government and industry representatives in 2004.
IM program goals and objectives as documented in the NUG include three overarching goals:
Each of these goals is supported by cross-cutting strategies or objectives that help to define strategic, tactical, and supporting actions for TIM programs. Table 3 below shows each of the NUG cross-cutting strategies along with considerations for cost management and cost recovery. This examination of the NUG shows that there are many opportunities to manage and possibly recover the costs associated with TIM, and relating these expenses to performance during incidents can better capture the full scope of strategic costs. The key to an effective TIM cost management and cost recovery program is tying these goals to performance measures and an overall performance index.
This examination of the NUG shows that there are many opportunities to manage and possibly recover the costs associated with TIM. The key to an effective TIM cost management and cost recovery program is tying these goals to performance measures and an overall performance index.Previous | Next
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration