The Georgia Department of Transportation's HERO units patrol metro Atlanta highways to assist motorists, clear debris and help at accident scenes. (JOHN SPINK/AJC)

Audit: GDOT has work to do on two traffic programs

The Georgia Department of Transportation has addressed some issues raised in an audit of two programs designed to clear traffic accidents, but still has work to do, a follow-up report shows.

In 2018 state auditors reviewed GDOT’s Highway Emergency Response Operators (HERO) program and Towing and Recovery Incentive Program (TRIP). HERO units patrol metro Atlanta highways round-the-clock to assist motorists, clear debris and help at accident scenes. The TRIP program uses financial incentives to encourage towing firms to clear truck accidents quickly. 

In 2018 state auditors recommended numerous steps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the programs. In a follow-up report released this week, they said GDOT had taken steps to address most of those recommendations, though it hasn’t completed the work. 

For example, the agency has begun a cost-benefit analysis of the TRIP program and plans a similar analysis of the HERO program. And it has taken steps to address high turnover among HERO operators. 

But GDOT has not conducted HERO-specific exit interviews or employee surveys to identify areas for improvement. And it has not formalized response time goals or performance measures for individual HERO units and shifts. 

In its response, GDOT generally concurred with the findings of the follow-up report, but noted it plans to work on several recommendations. 

You can download and read the report here.

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About the Author

David Wickert
David Wickert
David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois...
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