Running into car problems on the roadway can be a nightmare for drivers, but did you know there's a service that can help you get out of trouble in an emergency? The Harris County Toll Road Authority offers the Patron Emergency Assistance Program (or "PEAT"), which provides roadside assistance to drivers during minor emergency situations. The best part -- it's free for toll road drivers, and many people don't even know about it. "They are worried about how much it's going to cost, and it kind of relieves them to know that it's a complimentary service," PEAT Supervisor Jared Garner told 11 News. The program can offer help if you run out of gas, have a flat tire, or even experience minor medical problems. PEAT assists Harris County Constables in larger emergencies, as well.
During a routine patrol along the West Sam Houston Tollway, Garner came across Francine Baylor, who was stranded because she ran out of gas. "It's fabulous, I can't believe we just ran out of gas a few minutes ago and they pulled up right behind us... that's my daughter and its hot," she said. Garner says aiding stranded vehicles and removing road debris helps keep traffic moving, “by us being out there assisting the constables, it helps get everyone where they need to be a little bit quicker."
The program is complimentary to anyone using the toll roads in Harris County. This includes the Sam Houston Tollway, the Hardy Toll Road, the West Park Tollway, and the Katy Managed Lanes. Drivers can contact PEAT by calling 713-222-PEAT. The number is posted along several signs along the highway, and it is also printed on the back of EZ Tag stickers. Calls are fielded at HCTRA's 24-hour monitoring center. PEAT crews respond daily from 5:00AM - 10:00PM. During off hours, Harris County Constables respond to calls. To Garner, working for the PEAT team is more than just a job, “[I] treat everyone you come across like it’s your family.”