TDOT’s HELP program celebrates 20 years of service

Over 2.5 million services provided since launch of program

NASHVILLE – TDOT’s HELP program is celebrating 20 years of service in Tennessee’s urban areas. The HELP truck program began in Nashville and Knoxville in the summer of 1999. Service started in Memphis and Chattanooga in the summer of 2000. Since the program launched, TDOT’s HELP drivers have provided over 2.5 million services statewide. 

“Motorists in our urban areas have come to depend on the timely and professional service of TDOT’s HELP trucks,” TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright said. “Our operators are also key partners with police and other first responders during serious incidents, all in an effort to clear our highways as quickly as possible and keep traffic moving. They are a wonderful asset to the department.”

Each minute that a lane is blocked can translate into five minutes of delays for motorists. These delays can be dangerous for drivers and can lead to chain reaction accidents that further tie up Tennessee interstates. TDOT’s HELP program works to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and assist motorists who may be stranded on roadways.  

“Our drivers care deeply about their jobs and the service they provide,” Commissioner Bright added. “They often work long hours during major incidents and face incredible risks each and every day. The gratitude shown by motorists gives them a sense of enormous pride in what they do.”

Today’s festivities began with a convoy of HELP trucks and emergency response partner agencies. Upon its arrival at TDOT’s Region 3 Complex located off of Briley Parkway in Nashville, 12 TDOT employees, who were among the first HELP crew in 1999, were recognized during a special ceremony.

TDOT HELP drivers receive extensive traffic control and emergency response training. Each truck is equipped with traffic control devices, first aid supplies, and defibrillators. Drivers also participate in more extensive training for natural disasters and specialized vehicle recovery techniques.

TDOT has produced a series of videos for the HELP 20th anniversary:

Help 20th Anniversary: (Full) –

Why do you HELP? –

When HELP needs help –

For more information about the HELP program, please visit:

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