Chapter 3. Tactical Section
The number of questions in the Tactical section was reduced from 22 to 17. The 17 questions focused on the following three areas:
The Tactical section was the highest-scoring section in the 2020 Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment (TIM CM SA), with an overall score of 75.9 percent. Table 7 shows that the five highest-scoring questions appeared in the Tactical section.
MUTCD = Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. TIM CM SA = Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment.
Questions 25 and 26 asked respondents about safety service patrols (SSPs). Question 25 asked about the existence of an SSP, and question 26 asked respondents to score the SSP level of coverage. Table 8 shows the scoring guidance for question 25.
Out of any question on the 2020 TIM CM SA, question 25 had the highest percentage (63.6 percent) of responses with a score of 4; this demonstrates that TIM programs across the country are relying on full-function SSPs as a core part of incident response. Furthermore, SSPs are not limited to major metropolitan areas—43 percent of locations that scored question 25 with a 4 are non-top 75 locations.
Question 26 asked respondents to score the level of coverage provided by their SSPs. The TIM CM SA scoring guidance provides the following information to score SSP coverage with a 4: “The Safety Service Patrol Program operates a large enough fleet to provide ample coverage on all major roadways (i.e., interstates, limited access highways) identified as needing service based on traffic volumes and/or incident frequency.”5 Among all respondents, 47 percent scored their SSP level of coverage with a 4; among those respondents, 40 percent were non-top 75 locations. Respondents were also asked to provide details on their SSPs, including levels of coverage, days and hours of operation, services provided, number of vehicles, equipment on vehicles, and operator training. Among respondents who reported levels of coverage, there was a combined total of 4,700 centerline miles and 10,250 lane miles, with a median of 115 centerline miles and 220 lane miles.
According to the 2019 Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment National Analysis Report, question 32 concerning procedures for removing the deceased before arrival of the medical examiner (ME) had one of the lower average scores.6 The 2019 report specifically identified this as an area of continued training and focus. In 2020, question 32 had an average score of 2.7 (i.e., a 9.9 percent increase over the 2019 score) and is now 29.9 percent over the 2015 baseline score of 2.1.
Table 9 lists the TIM programs with the highest scores in the Tactical section.
5 Federal Highway Administration, Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment 2020 User Guide and Questions (September 1, 2020). [ Return to note 5. ]
6 Federal Highway Administration, 2019 Traffic Incident Management Capability Maturity Self-Assessment National Analysis Report, FHWA-HOP-20-007, (Washington, DC: November 2019). [ Return to note 6. ]
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration