Free Highway 17 tow service launches summer long weekend aide this Saturday

AAA of Northern California predicts 4 million Golden State residents plan to travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend. Of those, 3.2 million plan to drive to their holiday destination. No doubt some of them will be heading our way. That means Highway 17 could be frightful. Never fear. Besides the California Highway Patrol, the Freeway Service Patrol will be beefing up their presence on the gateway between the San Francisco and Monterey bay areas and helping stranded motorists free of charge. Starting this weekend and lasting every weekend through Labor Day, the free tow service will roam the mountainous portions of Highway 17 from 1-7 p.m., the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission announced. The Freeway Service Patrol already operates during commute times on weekdays, where they quickly find and remove vehicles stranded on the roadway after a breakdown or a traffic collision. Other tasks they perform include changing or inflating flat tires, jump-starting vehicles and providing gas so stranded motorists can make it to the nearest service station. The Freeway Service Patrol, which also operates on Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Aptos, is paid for with funds from the State Freeway Service Patrol, State Transportation Improvement Program and SAFE. Learn more about the tow operation online at View the schedule at
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