Freeway Service Patrol
Your friend on the freeways
Orange County freeways can be stressful in the best of times, but add traffic and a mechanical problem, and you could be in dire need of assistance–and a friendly face, which is where the Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) steps in. FSP is a unique tow truck team that patrols Orange County's freeways during peak commuting hours to help motorists whose vehicles become disabled on the highway. You may also call 511 from your cell phone and select Motorist Assistance for on-freeway assistance during FSP Operating hours. Our goal is to keep traffic moving and reduce congestion by assisting with minor roadside repairs and removing disabled vehicles from the roadway.
Best of all, FSP services are free to motorists. Our trucks and drivers help people get back on the road with limited essential assistance from a jump start to a gallon of gas or simply changing a flat tire. We'll even help take vehicles to a safe location off the freeway where motorists can seek additional assistance if necessary, all at no charge to the motorist.
The FSP program began in 1992 in cooperation with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The Orange County Transportation Authority manages the program, and the CHP provides dispatch, oversees the operation of the contracted tow companies, and provides field services whenever law enforcement is required.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Motorist Services at MotoristServices@octa.net, or contact us online.
Freeway Service Patrol Operating Hours
Monday through Friday:
- 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
- 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- I-5 - South of Alicia Pkwy,
- SR-22 - Harbor Blvd. to SR-55
- SR-91 – East of SR-57
- I-405 – I 605 to SR-73
FSP Does not Operate During the Following Holidays:
- New Year’s
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veteran’s Day
- Thanksgiving and Day After Thanksgiving
- Last Week of December for Holiday Break
- New Year’s Day
Orange County Service Area
It is always good to know what to do while waiting for help to arrive. Here are some safety basics recommended by the California Highway Patrol:
If you can, move your vehicle onto the right shoulder out of traffic lanes.
If involved in a traffic collision, move your vehicle to a safe location if possible before exchanging insurance information.
Stay inside your vehicle with your seat belt on until help arrives. If you must exit the vehicle, stay as far away from the roadway as possible.
Use added caution in bad weather since a passing motorist could lose control of their vehicle
Frequently Asked Questions
Because there are always questions, here are some answers to the basic questions we hear the most.
- What services can the Orange County FSP provide?
If your vehicle stops running, the FSP can help by:
- Offering you a gallon of gas if you ran out
- Jump start your dead battery
- Refill your radiator and make minor hose repairs
- Change a flat tire
- What if the FSP can’t get my vehicle running?
It will be towed from the freeway free of charge to a pre-designated on-street location.
- If my vehicle is towed to one of these locations, will the FSP help me get to a phone?
Yes. The FSP will take you to the nearest phone so you can notify a friend, relative or auto club.
- How will I recognize the FSP?
All FSP tow trucks are white with the FSP logo on the doors. Drivers wear blue uniforms and bright yellow-green safety vests with the FSP logo.
- Are Orange County FSP drivers certified?
Yes. Drivers receive their certification only after completing a CHP training program.
- Can the FSP tow me to a private repair facility?
No. FSP only tows vehicles to locations identified by the CHP. The FSP is not permitted to recommend other tow companies or repair facilities.
- Which freeways do the Orange County FSP patrol?
Check the map for FSP coverage..
- What happens if FSP is unavailable or if my needs are beyond what FSP may provide?
If FSP service is unavailable or if the need is beyond what the FSP provides, 511 may assist a motorist by helping to arrange service through their Club Towing, the CHP Rotation Tow program, or by contacting a Friend or Family Member.
- What Is The CHP Rotation Tow program?
The CHP Rotation Tow Program allows licensed and approved members of the towing industry to participate in a rotational tow list managed through the California Highway Patrol. The purpose of the program is to equitably distribute highway-related service calls from the public when other services are not available or appropriate and ensure that the public receives ethical and fair treatment from private tow companies who participate in the program.
The CHP Rotation Tow Program services are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
There is a charge for Rotation Tow Program services. Rotation Tow providers are to make rates available to customers upon request. PLEASE REQUEST SERVICE RATES WHEN THE ROTATION TOW PROVIDER ARRIVES.
Tow operators are not required to accept checks but are required by law to accept a valid credit or debit card.
To learn more about the CHP Rotation Tow Program, please visit chp.ca.gov.