New Hampshire Turnpike Safety Patrol and GEICO Team Up to Donate Toys to Operation Santa Claus
New Sponsorship Augments Vital Safety Service and Gives Back to Community
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) Bureau of Turnpikes today announced GEICO as the new sponsor of the NHDOT Bureau of Turnpikes Safety Patrol. In recognition of the announcement, the partnership donated over 500 toys and other gifts to Operation Santa Claus. The donation, which arrived in the newly-sponsored GEICO Safety Patrol vehicles, shows NHDOT’s longstanding commitment to New Hampshire communities.
“We look forward to partnering with GEICO to continue to provide Safety Patrol services to the traveling public,” said NHDOT Commissioner Victoria Sheehan. “Safety is of the utmost importance to the department, and the NHDOT Safety Patrol provides an integral service that ensures that motorists receive needed assistance that keeps them safe and mitigates the impact of motorist breakdowns on the flow of traffic.”
GEICO’s sponsorship allows NHDOT to augment Safety Patrol routes and services; ultimately providing help to motorists in need and improving mobility on the state’s highly trafficked Turnpike roadways. Goals of the patrol are to improve safety for motorists, to reduce the potential for significant traffic tie-ups by clearing minor incidents, removing debris, and assisting motorists in need of minor repairs such as flat tires, vehicle overheating, or charging a battery, as quickly as possible.
Vehicles stranded on a congested highway due to a flat-tire, or being out of fuel, have the potential to cause secondary incidents which are typically more serious in nature. The Safety Patrol helps reduce the potentially significant impacts by lending assistance to stranded motorists in order to quickly get off the roadway or shoulder. The Safety Patrol responds to new incidents every day resulting in an average of over 3,000 annually.
The patrol vehicles have a new look, with enhanced, highly-reflective safety markings to make the vehicle and driver more visible to motorists, especially at night and in inclement weather conditions. Highway signs informing motorists of the patrolled routes will now feature the GEICO logo.
GEICO has worked for decades to help make driving safer for all travelers. Through sponsorship of the Safety Patrol, the company has created an alliance in roadway safety with the New Hampshire DOT.
“At this time of year, with many Americans on the roads visiting loved ones, it’s incredibly important to do our part to ensure they get there safely,” said Melinda Seibold, GEICO’s Regional Vice President. “It’s an honor to work with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to sponsor the Safety Patrol. Whether it’s an everyday incident or a catastrophic event, GEICO prides itself on being there when our customers need us the most.”
The New Hampshire State Employees’ Association’s “Operation Santa Claus” (OSC) is a program that ensures gifts are provided to nearly 3,000 New Hampshire children in need regardless of circumstances. Operation Santa Claus works with the NH Department of Health and Human Services to identify children in need of assistance, and the program relies solely on donations. The average age of the children is ten years old, but there are many teenagers. Requested items range from sporting equipment to gaming systems and often include cleaning supplies. The donation from NHDOT and GEICO will help families beyond Christmas, as well, with some gifts reserved for use by the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families for when a child is in a home transition.
“The children of Operation Santa Claus are so fortunate to have so many generous sponsors, and this program couldn’t do the good work without them. Having the New Hampshire DOT Safety Patrol and GEICO join us was unexpected and overwhelming. Their donation will benefit many children connected in some way with the Department of Health & Human Services, making their donation even more special,” states Phil Burt, Chair Operation Santa Claus.
The New Hampshire Turnpike Safety Patrol program, sponsored by GEICO, provides services for motorists experiencing motor vehicle problems while traveling I-95 between the Massachusetts and Maine borders, the Central Turnpike from the Massachusetts state line on the F. E. Everett Turnpike to I-93 Exit 14 in Concord, and the Spaulding Turnpike from Portsmouth to Exit 16 in Rochester. The Safety Patrol operates Monday through Thursday, 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., on Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Sundays 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Some extra coverage may be added for holidays and special events. The Safety Patrol communicates with the NHDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) in Concord, which has direct contact with NH State Police and other emergency responders. Those in need of minor roadside assistance can also call the TMC by dialing #999.
A member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, GEICO is a stable company that was founded 85 years ago with a focus on making driving safer for all travelers. Through sponsorship of the Safety Patrol, GEICO continues its focus on safety by supporting the New Hampshire DOT.
More information can be found at SafetyPatrolinfo.com and the NHDOT website. GEICO Living is also a great source for auto safety related articles and tips. Assisted motorists are encouraged to share about the help they received by posting to social media. Motorists will be able to tag the patrols using #GEICOSafetyPatrol.
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GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, GEICO employs more than 43,000 associates countrywide. GEICO constantly strives to make lives better by protecting people against unexpected events while saving them money and providing an outstanding customer experience. Along with personal auto insurance, commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available. Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft, term life, and more coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Visit geico.com for a quote or to learn more.
About New Hampshire DOT
From its beginnings over a century ago, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation has played a vital role in the history and growth of the Granite State. In 1905, the New Hampshire legislature created the State Highway Department which authorized the construction and maintenance of state highways. Twenty years later, New Hampshire lawmakers greatly increased state participation in the development of the highway system, including the responsibility for snow removal and bridge construction. The size and scope of the highway program changed dramatically in the 1950s with development of the Turnpike System and construction of Interstate Highways. In 1986, the Department of Public Works and Highway became the New Hampshire Department of Transportation that included the Division of Aeronautics. Today, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation has over 1,600 employees working to improve and maintain the 4,600 mile transportation system and provide mobility options for New Hampshire citizens and visitors.