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Gateway Guide's Motorist Assist and Emergency Response Program


Motorist Assist Truck

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The Motorist Assist and Emergency Response patrols the St. Louis metro area interstates in search of lane obstructions caused by disabled vehicles, debris and car crashes. They work hand in hand with local law enforcement and private towing agencies to keep traffic moving.


Did you know that, in times of peak traffic, for every minute a lane is blocked by a disabled vehicle, 20 minutes of traffic congestion will follow. That is why Motorist Assist and Emergency Response is out there helping clear the interstate highways of all obstructions, wrecks, and disabled vehicles.

Consider this - In 2002, a University of Missouri-Columbia study of MoDOT's Motorist Assist incident management program (an integral part of Gateway Guide) showed the following benefits:

Motorist Assist operator can help change tires, provide fuel and perform other minor, short term repairs. If Motorist Assist cannot get an individual motorist moving again, they will provide a phone to call for additional help. They also help provide a safer situation for a stalled motorists by providing a safe buffer with their truck and emergency flashing lights (give them some room if you approach them on the highway).

If a motorists becomes stranded on an interstate highway patrolled by Motorist Assist, he or she is encouraged to pull as far off onto the right shoulder as possible and, if safe, wait with their vehicle for a Motorist Assist truck to arrive.

Since Motorist Assist stops at all vehicles that appear to have trouble, there is no need to call them. Unless there is an emergency, the average response time is 20 minutes. Do not leave your vehicle - we can't help you if you are not there with your car.

In the event of an emergency, a motorist should call *55 on their mobile phone. If you are involved in a crash, move your vehicles to the RIGHT shoulder out of the lanes of traffic, then call *55 and get back in your vehicle.

It will provide the safest situation for you to await help and it's the law - click here to read the Missouri State Regulation.


The program consists of 12 trucks and operators per shift (a.m.-p.m.) who provide a service that helps move stranded motorists off the roadway. By helping the traffic flow on the metro interstate highways, Motorist Assist plays huge part in helping the environment as well as saving the public's precious time, money and lives.

Motorist Assist trucks patrol St. Louis area interstates from 5:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday to Sunday (excluding some major holidays). People can receive help from Motorist Assist on these six interstate highways and one freeway:

  • Route 364-Page Avenue I-270 to Rte. 94
  • I-44 Six Flags Road to Downtown St. Louis
  • I-55 Richardson Road to Downtown St. Louis
  • I-64/Rte. 40 Rte. 94 to Downtown St. Louis
  • I-70 Mid Rivers Mall Drive to Downtown St. Louis
  • I-170 all
  • I-270/I-255 Riverview Drive to Jefferson Barracks Bridge into Illinois

Look for signs along the highway that designate Motorist Assist routes. Click here for a downloadable map of the Motorist Assist Patrol routes.  (696 kb, 1 page)


From 6.30 p.m. to 5 a.m., seven days a week (and on-call on major holidays and weekends), the MoDOT Emergency Response crew takes on the major obstructions, vehicle crash sites and clean-ups on the interstate and major highways. This two-person crew has the ability to assist fire department, police and EMT crews during major vehicle wrecks. They also respond to emergency roadway clean-ups, debris clearing, pothole patching and hundreds of other functions to improve the safety of the roadway during off hours.

The Motorist Assist program was more successful than even its founders had hoped. During its first year of operation in 1993, eight Motorist Assist operators traveled about 292,000 miles in their five trucks and assisted over 9,000 vehicles.

Through the years, the Motorist Assist and Emergency Response program expanded its operation to cover more area, time and days of operation. In its current state, Motorist Assist covers over 160 center lane miles. The current days and hours of operation is Sunday-to-Sunday, 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with the Emergency Response team covering the off hours for major incidents.

Each year, all of the Motorist Assist operators combined have patrolled over a million miles on our region's highways and the operators have made over 31,000 stops each year.

We love to help you when you are in need of our assistance, but we would also like to help you avoid needing us. Here's some real easy tips that, when followed, will keep you running smooth!

  • Check fluid levels regularly, especially gasoline. Many drivers helped by Motorist Assist simply run out of gas and low gas levels are hard on your fuel pump!
  • Check windshield wiper blades.
  • Make sure tires are inflated to manufacturer's recommended pressure (don't forget the spare).
  • Maintain hoses and belts.

If a driver abandons their vehicle on the highway, it's difficult for Motorist Assist to effectively do their job...STAY WITH YOUR CAR!

Click Here to learn more about Gateway Guide

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