Kansas joins Missouri in roadside program

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has teamed up with its counterparts in Missouri to initiate a pilot program in four Kansas metropolitan areas that alerts drivers when motorist assist vehicles are nearby.

Drivers in Kansas City, Wichita, Salina and Topeka can receive digital alerts via the Waze mobile navigation app when they are approaching Kansas Motorist Assist Program vehicles or, in Missouri, the Emergency Response program vehicles that are actively providing roadside services.

A total of 19 Kansas vehicles and 12 Missouri vehicles are using the technology. The digital alerting service uses GPS and cellular technologies to precisely track and transmit the digital alerts to nearby motorists. This provides drivers with advance warning and time to safely slow down and change lanes in compliance with Kansas’ Move Over Law and Missouri’s Move Over, Slow Down law.

Collisions and struck-by incidents are common nationwide and rank as leading causes of death for firefighters and police offi­cers as well as other first responders like EMS, motorist assistance vehicles, tow truck operators and highway maintenance workers.

“We’re excited to adopt this technology to make our roads safer for both our emergency responders and highway motorists,” said Shari Hilliard, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Engineer for KDOT. “We believe this digital alerting service will prevent collisions and save lives, and we’re pleased to be partnering with Missouri offi­cials to pursue this goal together.”

The Kansas Motorist Assist Program is funded by KDOT and administered by the Kansas Highway Patrol.